The Skriker

ISBN: 1559360976
ISBN 13: 9781559360975
By: Caryl Churchill

Check Price Now


Currently Reading Drama Fantasy Favorites Plays Plays To Read Theater Theatre To Buy To Read

Reader's Thoughts


I saw this play when I was living in Pittsburgh. It intrigued me. I've always liked dark things. Creepy and sad, and fascinating, all at the same time.


I think this is probably my favorite play. The story is really about how macrocosmic change is made from, and about, individual relationships, and it has some of the most beautiful uses of language and theatrical possibility that I could ever imagine seeing.


I love this play so much. The Skriker, a sort of British Isles folklore creature, latches onto Josie, and then onto her pregnant sister, Lily, granting their wishes -- sort of -- while trying to get her ancient oomph back. It's a dark, dark play, with the potential to be frightening and richly visual when mounted.You know how in urban fantasy with elves, authors try to convey a sense that the elves are operating on a totally different moral system, or none at all, and that they're sooo powerful and sooo frightening? Yeah, Churchill does it better than anyone; her fairies are alien and grotesque.For the fun of it, here's a quick sample of what the Skriker sounds like when she's not pretending to be human:Don't get this ointment disappointment in your eyes I say to the mortal middlewife but of course she does and the splendored this palace picture palace winter policeman's ball suddenly blurred visionary missionary mishmash potato, and there was a mud hit mad hut and the mother a murder in rag tags and bob's your uncle and the baby a wrinkly crinkly crackerjack of all trading places, because of course it was all a glamour amour amorphous fuss about nothing. But she never lets on so she gets home safe and sound the trumpet. But one day I'm in the market with b and put it in the oven helping myself and she sees me and says how's your wife waif and stray how's the baby? And I say what eye do you seize me with? This eye high diddley, she says. So I point my finger a thing at her and strike her blind alley cat o' nine tails.


I enjoyed the wordplay, but nothing much of interest happens in the play. It lacked the depth I expected from the author of _Cloud Nine_.

Allyson Capetta

LOVE THIS PLAY. Caryl Churchill is amazing and completely underrated. Everyone should read this play even just to experience the brilliance of the opening monologue.



Becca Stokes

Why am I not Caryl Churchill? Why didn't that happen?

Esther Tucker-boyer

Awesome show!!!


Self-trust, jealousy, persistence of: memory, superstitions, feelings, beliefs, regret.This play was brilliant if for nothing else than the language. Even as it was too muchof itself, it was still breath-taking, brow-scrunching and full of intrigue. Caryl Churchill does not ease her readers into the play's madness but instead plows through a four-page monologue of nonsense for her script's opening. I got little more than a general sense of mood and style from all of that, but as time went on and she spoke in shorter segements I could use context to crack what she was saying, comments or stories or what have you.Also by the end I felt pity and a mental outreach of motherly care for the Skriker. She was after all a pathetic creature, broken and in need of love. She wanted to be a child, be loved, be cared for, which is something that a lot of us want at our weak points. She is also ancient adn doesn't fit into out world in the same way that she used to. She used to be big and important and now she is desperate and hollow and alone.All-in-all I would say The Skriker was disturbing and elusive. Also I have no CLUE how some of these stage directions were actually put into practice. But still, I would love to see it performed, I would love to read more Caryl Churchill, and I would love to hear theories in what the heck was going on. To the reviews I go!

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *