Mr Burns asks how the stories we tell make us the people we are, explodes the boundaries between pop and high culture and, when society has crumbled, imagines the future for America's most famous family.
Anne Washburn's plays include Apparition, The Ladies, I Have Loved Strangers, The Communist Dracula Pageant and a slightly loose translation of Euripides' Orestes. Her plays have been produced in the US, and internationally. She is an associated artist with Obie award-winning groups 13P, The Civilians and New Georges, and is a member of New Dramatists. The Internationalist is also published by Oberon Books.
When was the last time you met a new play that was so smart it made
your head spin?... Mr Burns has arrived to leave you dizzy with the
scope and dazzle of its ideas... with depths of feeling to match
its breadth of imagination. * The New York Times *
Mr Burns is a brilliantly lucid bit of theatre. There's some additional fun if you are very familiar with The Simpsons but that's not vital, in fact, it's a distraction if you think it's all an in-joke for the fans. It could be anything; The Simpsons stands in for any story that embraces and touches a whole culture. It is The Bible, The Iliad, the Complete Works of Shakespeare and as such it's a challenge to how we think of art, religion, culture, the whole way of life that we move in. It's beautifully performed, too, because if it had been given a smooth, elegant London theatre production, it would have missed the point. This is a rough, crude, funny, clever, heartfelt, stupid evening of theatre and I can't recommend it highly enough. * Dan Rebellato *
Washburn's play is pretty out there in many respects, but each scenario is beautifully realised, and it presents a compelling query: faced with uncertainty, would we salvage what's 'important' for the human race? Or what comforts us? And is there really a difference? ... the bold vistas of Washburn's imagination are thrillingly provocative in themselves... its message is ultimately a comforting one: just like cockroaches and Twinkies, theatre and stories will survive the end of days, no matter how strangely. * Time Out *
The play is both scary and sweet, funny but dead serious, unique and wonderfully theatrical. * TIME Magazine *
Get in line ASAP. This bizarre, funny, bleak, wonderful show is even better than its hype. * New York Post *
Gradually this absurd, unreal performance comes to encapsulate not just the old, now-mythical way of life but also our own. The intellectual fascination of the material meshes with emotional significance on an instinctual level. * Financial Times *