Martin Crimp



  • (1956 - ) British playwright, whose works are noted for their spare dialogue, experimental approach to narrative, and bleak view of human nature. Crimp was born in Kent, the son of an engineer, and by his own account became "addicted" to all things theatrical while still a boy. He began to write for the stage while studying at Cambridge and gradually established a following in the 1980s, with a series of plays written for the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond upon Thames; these included Living Remains (1982), A variety of Death-Defying Acts (1985), and the disturbing psychologicaldrama Dealing With Clair (1988). With their enigmatic dialogue and senseof underlying menace, these early works show the influence of Harold Pinter and other writers in the absurdist tradition. In the 1990s Crimp achieved a higher profile with a number of works for the Royal Court Theatre, including No One Sees the Video (1990) and the extraordinary Attempts on Her Life (1997), one of the most discussed plays of the last 20 years. The play consists of a series of disconnected speeches, none of which is assigned to a specified character, about a woman named Anne, who is variously talked about asif she were a terrorist, a refugee, and a porn star, amongst other contradictory identities. Subsequent works have included The Country (2000), Fewer Emergencies (2005) - another very abstract piece about a school shooting incident - and The City (2008). Crimp has also createda number of translations for the stage, including works by Marivaux, and Ionesco and an updated version of Molière's The Misanthrope (1996).