Written by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Kip Williams
Sydney Theatre Company
Just a year ago, I had the great luck to see the latest play by Caryl Churchill at the Royal Court Theatre in London. The luck was being in London and only finding out it was on by accident. I was surprised that she was still writing and surprised that a play just over 10 minutes in running time could say so much with so much power. It also enlightened me to a new style of her writing that I had seen in Love and Information, which I had recently seen at the Sydney Theatre Company. In that play, she had written with seven scenes and no dialogue attributed to any particular actor. She uses a similar method here. In the production I saw, it was played by four actors but could well be played by one or more. In Cloud Nine, there are nine scenes with nine characters in each Act. Over the many years of her work she has change styles to best present her craft.
It was not until I saw the recent production of Cloud Nine at the Wharf that I realised that 37 years later she had written a small masterpiece called Pigs and Dogs that could well be a companion piece to Cloud Nine. In 2014, Uganda passed an Anti-Homosexuality Act and this play looks at what was behind it. The play is based on a book called Boy-Wives and Female-Husbands: Studies in African homosexualities. The play is presented as a sequence of statements from people over the years.