Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Simon Stephens’ work. No, I haven’t seen or read Curious Incident…I don’t really want to. Yes, I know it won a Tony. I don’t like to talk about it.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, Sea Wall.
I’ve read half of Simon Stephens’ published plays and I would be quick to nominate Sea Wall as his best. To be fair it tickles the g-spot on a couple of my most deeply held biases: It has only been performed by Andrew Scott (hysterical fan-girl screaming), and it is sui generis among naturalistic, one-man shows.
Cast: 1M Run Time: 30ish minutes Summary: A naturalistic one-act family drama exploring themes of: growth, maturity, aging, death, love, marriage, belief in God. Playscript: Got mine from a Methuen Drama Collection, Simon Stephens Plays 2
NB: Rights were not available for amateur performances in the US, when I looked into it this year.
This is a good one for the monologue vs. one-man play debate. I come down on the side of ‘play’ for this one even though it lacks stage directions. The shape of the action does all the work of a larger,more elaborate story. Whatever you care to call it, Sea Wall is appealing and affecting which is how you win at theatre.