White, Joseph (2012)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Phoenix is a tragicomic play that tracks the descent of four boozed up Brits abroad on a fateful stag do to Warsaw, Poland. Dave and Haz grew up together as best friends, but whilst Haz was on duty in Afghanistan, Dave fell in love with, and proposed to Ella – an engagement which has since ruptured Haz and Dave’s previously juvenile activities and, subsequently, their friendship. Now it is Dave’s stag do, and Haz, along with the help of loveable idiot Bear, has one last chance to spend some ‘quality’ time with his best friend and perhaps corrupt him a little on the way. However, these attempts are scarpered by Dave’s love for Ella and the presence of Ella’s younger brother, James, an odd young man with a fascination with war poetry and modern history. James is a symbol of Dave’s future and Haz’s demise, and soon becomes a vulnerable and pivotal person who Dave tries to protect and who Haz seeks to destroy. As the rain soaked holiday veers from debauched expectations, the stags clash antlers, and the ghosts of the past clash with the fear of the future, where warfare, machismo and violence are irrevocably taught, learned and lived.
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