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the cave / de grot

Translation, English-Dutch, 2014

A Dutch translation of the English play 'The Cave' (1950s) by Mervyn Peake.

Peake is best known for his 'Gormenghast' series of gothic fantasy novels, but he was also a prolific poet, artist and illustrator. His plays are less known: of the ten he wrote only one was performed during his lifetime.

In 'The Cave', subtitled 'Anima Mundi', he presents a dark vision of mankind riddled with superstition and fear. Peake biographer G. Peter Winnington called it Peake's "most philosophical work", touching on themes of religion, art and morality.

The play's three acts span thousands of years of history, from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages and culminating in the 1950s. In each act, a family is confronted with a stranger, a girl whose free mind meets with hostility. Her presence ultimately leads to violence - but also glimpses of otherworldly beauty.

'The Cave' had its world premiere in London, 2010, in a production by Blue Elephant Theatre.

Read more about 'The Cave'.

The original text and translation are unpublished. Rights owned by the Mervyn Peake Estate, represented by Peters Fraser & Dunlop.