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3.4 out of 5 stars
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3.4 out of 5 stars
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on September 22, 1999
The first act of Cloud Nine takes place in a British colony in Africa during the Victorian Era. The setting itself explains alot of the confusion that accompanies reading the book. During the Victorian Era women were to be "seen but not heard", and that's exactly how women are portrayed in the book. For instance, Victoria, the main characters daughter, is not even a real person. She is "played" by a doll. Then there's Betty, the main character's wife, who is so damn stomach churning submissive. I know with marriage the wife is supposed to be a little submissive to the husband but not to the point where they are almost robotic to his wishes. The book also deals openly with homosexuality and infidelity. I think this was an excellent choice by the author because both of these are dealt with on an everyday basis. Edward, Victoria's older brother, is a potential homosexual. He is 9 years old when the book begins. At age 9 Edward is being molested by his father's friend. All while this is going on Edward is being played by a woman. Edward's character is so easily understood to be played by a woman since he is feminine and potentially gay. I think this book sums up the things that consists of in an explicit, but realistic manner. It hits on such topics like: adultery, homosexuality, "a woman's place in society", and how experiences and decisions change as time progresses. I feel this is a must read book and definitely a play worth seeing.
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on October 15, 1999
Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9 took a step into the depths of "don't go there" topics. Her graphic disucssion of sexuality, child molestation, and various other related topics was completely unnecessary and took the shock thing a little too far. If the point of the book was to shock a reader, the goal was achieved. By taking her socialist ideas and transforming them into this piece, she stated her ideas in a way that was really not necessary. Many of the scenes depicted were not appropriate for discussion, and though she did raise issues that are considered important, they should not be presented in the manner that they were. Taking a confusing plot mixed with strange shifts in time, as well as the inappropriate matter that is discussed, Cloud 9 definitely does not rank high on my list of favorite books of all time. In fact, I found it quite disturbing.
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on October 15, 1999
Caryl Churchill's play makes a powerful and courageous statement. She discusses issues of feminism, colonialism, and sex. Set in the Brechtian theater, Churchill is able to tell it like it is. The play does not necessarily condone or diapprove these issues, but puts them out there to be discussed. She infers in her work that ignoring these issues is like approving of these acts by letting them continue to occur. Her characters are sometimes homosexual, or else they are obssessed with premiscuous sex. Her play may be shocking to the reader, but once you are over the initial shock, you begin to realize what she is saying. Churchill forces the reader to think about these issues and how society deals with them. This play is important to our culture and you should pick it up sometime.
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on October 15, 1999
Cloud 9 is not a play that I would go to see just for fun. It deals with some very sensitive issues--everything from homosexuality to religion. With topics such as these, one would think it just a filthy, disgusting play. In all actuality, its done in a very tasteful manner. The language can be a bit overwhelming at times, mainly because you aren't expecting this from a play. But, its nothing that the average person wouldn't hear on a daily basis. It also makes people think. Usually people just like to be told what it is they are looking for. With this play, you have to decide how it relates to you, if it does, and then alayze it from the perspective of society. Overall, Cloud 9 is a tale of two centuries brought together by the same issues.
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on June 18, 2003
As far as Brechtian plays go, Churchill is a master at alienation and disidentification- characters in this play are played as the protagonist's projection of who he thinks they should be (ie: the westernized African servant is played by a white actor). Although the effect is extremely powerful onstage, particularly when it raises up complex social and ethnic issues, the different characters can be hard to keep straight on paper. This play works far better in performance than it does in print, but it remains a valuable teaching tool for both Brecht and World Theatre studies.
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on October 15, 1999
I have just finished reading Caryl Churchill's infamous play "Cloud Nine". I found the book to be an amazing tool to present to the reader those social issues which we have so desperately tried to sweep under the bed. The book is actually a play through which her use of a Brechtian style of theater keeps the reader in a sort of shocked confusion and not very comfortable. At first glance you might say it is vulgar and rude, yet a deeper evaluation proves that this play is an effective tool to dredge up what society has sunk to the bottom of the river.
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on October 15, 1999
Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine, explicitly addresses issues that have been a part of our society for years. In ActI, the sexual elements come as a surprise to the reader, due to the misconception that homosexuality, pedophelia, and other such topics did not exist until the 19th century. ActII address the same issues only in a different time period. The same issues are discussed.I felt that the work was worthwhile and that the topics brought to light in it were definataly worth discussing.
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on January 15, 2002
This play is an interesting approach to the question of morality in the 'modern' age. It contrasts two worlds, one of moral certainty in a Victorian colonial home, and one of complete amorality and uncertainty in contemporary Britain. It does however go beyond these issues to deal with other important issues like Gender roles and the general issue of both mental and physical 'colonization' of people by society. This play should be read by anyone even remotely interested in these themes.
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on October 15, 1999
The story was extremely different than any other book that I have ever read. There were so many issues brought up in this story, but there were no opinions shared with these issues. I think that was a good idea because it lets people form there own opinions about what is right or wrong. The characters were also different. The same people were playing multiple characters, and there were guys playing the roles of girls and vice versa. It was very interesting.
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on September 8, 1999
Caryl Churchill's play bends the rules of playwriting to come up with something new and fresh. Churchill understands language and characterization and redefines the usage of both in this play. Churchill is a feminist, but her work should be read by men and women. It is perhaps because she is a women that she is able to dispense with(male) playwriting protocol and reinvent the play format. Well done Churchill!
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