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POSSIBLE WORLDS & A SHORT HISTORY OF NIGHT

Mighton, John
Toronto, Playwrights Canada Press, 1992. 165pp, paper, $5.00, ISBN 0-88754-479-7. CIP


Adult

Reviewed by Gina Varty

Volume 21 Number 2
1993 March


John Mighton has written two intellectually challenging and provocative plays. His M.A. in philosophy and experience tutoring mathematics and physics serve him well in presenting the themes and plot-lines of the two plays.

In Possible Worlds, parallel narratives are used to speculate about questions of identity and the role of imagination in love. Eighteen scenes alternate between detectives searching for a killer who steals brains and a pair of lovers who experience a bizarre series of encounters. Graphic and explicit language abound in the infinite number of possible worlds eluded to and described.

A Short History of Night draws alarming parallels between medieval and modern thought. Based on the life of sixteenth-century scientist Johannes Kepler, the script tells of a group of alchemists and astrologers who vie to unlock the secrets of the cosmos while religious wars and witch hunts rage around them. It is a world of intolerance, violence, lack of reason and short memories ... unlighted and timeless. The play won both the 1992 Chalmers and Dora Mavor Moore awards.

Both plays could stimulate much philosophical discussion about experimenting on animals, the why and how of imagination, heaven and fate. However, because of its frank and explicit language and mature subject matter, the book is more suitable for adults.


Gina Varty is a librarian with the Audio/ Visual Education Library of the United Church of Canada in Edmonton, Alberta
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