By Karen Hagersten
Selling Simone, written and directed by Irish playwright Gary Clarke, opened to a full house on Friday, May 17, in Stockholm, Sweden. The play was performed by the Stockholm Players in collaboration with Folkuniversitetet. This three-act play within a play, in English, has a running time of approximately 60 minutes.
In Selling Simone, playwright and director Sam finds her play about French philosopher Simone Weil suddenly hijacked by the charming Walt two days before opening night. The cast of four women and two men battle out the needs of being true to oneself while seeking artistic recognition amid the perils of trusting in oneself and others. Sexual attraction and gender equality issues feed a constant, underlying tension that threatens to erupt at any moment.
Clarke adds, “The crux of the play, for me, which was developed through drafts and critique from the Stockholm Writers Group, is the importance of owning your own ‘story’ and winning it back if it’s taken from you. This is the plot of Selling Simone in a nutshell, and I hope the writing in the play is successful in delivering, what is I think, an important message.”
Gary Clarke is an award-winning playwright and director with productions in London, Dublin, Geneva, Brussels, and Stockholm, where he lives and teaches English and drama. His other works include Hey, Hey Good-Looking, Blues for Billy, both produced by Soho Theatre and Stepping Out of a Dream.