Margaret Edson

Wed 11th November to Sat 14th November 2009


David Grimes

St. Brides(map)

Winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Margaret Edson’s Wit follows the journey of Professor Vivian Bearing, who has been diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer. There is no Stage V.

Poetry, and not people, has always been her priority and she has gained a fearsome reputation in her specialist subject, the holy sonnets of John Donne. Faced with the inevitable progress of the disease and an experimental treatment, she applies her customary critical analysis to her predicament and is shocked to discover the failings of her normally reliable intellectual security. Vivian encounters alien emotions as she seeks to understand and accept her ever-growing need for forgiveness, dignity and compassion.

Funny and sad, tragic and life-affirming, complex and simple, Wit is an exploration of what transpires when words finally fail. Of how, inevitably, art and science are equally useless, equally detached.

Yet this is no tearful lecture on how to die. Instead, Wit is a dry-eyed lesson on how to live; with simplicity and kindness.