I drank three glasses of scotch and ginger ale before we'd even cleared Coney Island. I didn't want to come home. It was then that I decided to write you these letters.
On a crisp winter day in New York, Willem gets the call. It's Mum. Pauli's died. Come back to Amsterdam.
An unforgettable homecoming to an estranged family, a lost love, unsettling sex and an unexamined life.
One of Stephens's most poetic plays to date, Song from Far Away received its UK premiere at the Young Vic, London, on 2 September 2015.
About the Author
Simon Stephens began his theatrical career in the literary department of the Royal Court Theatre, where he ran its Young Writers' Programme. His plays for theatre include Bluebird (Royal Court Theatre, London, 1998, directed by Gordon Anderson); Herons (Royal Court Theatre, 2001); Port (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 2002); One Minute (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 2003 and Bush Theatre, London, 2004); Christmas (Bush Theatre, 2004); Country Music (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 2004); On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange Theatre and National Theatre, London, 2005); Motortown (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2006); Pornography (Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hanover, 2007; Edinburgh Festival/Birmingham Rep, 2008 and Tricycle Theatre, London, 2009); Harper Regan (National Theatre, 2008); Sea Wall (Bush Theatre, 2008/Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 2009); Heaven (Traverse Theatre, 2009); Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith, London, and Royal Exchange Theatre, 2009); The Trial of Ubu (Essen Schauspielhaus/Toneelgroep Amsterdam, 2010); A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (co-written with David Eldridge and Robert Holman; Lyric Hammersmith, London, 2010); Marine Parade (co-written with Mark Eitzel; Brighton International Festival, 2010); T5 (Traverse Theatre, 2010); Wastwater (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2011); Morning (Lyric Hammersmith, 2012); an adaptation of A Doll's House (Young Vic, 2012); an adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre, 2012); Blindsided (Royal Exchange, 2014); and Birdland (Royal Court, 2014). His radio plays include Five Letters Home to Elizabeth (BBC Radio 4, 2001) and Digging (BBC Radio 4, 2003). His screenwriting includes an adaptation of Motortown for Film4 (2009); the two-part serial Dive (with Dominic Savage) for Granada/BBC (2009); and a short film adaptation of Pornography for Channel 4's 'Coming Up' series (2009). Awards include the Pearson Award for Best New Play, 2001, for Port; Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World, 2005; and for Motortown German critics in Theater Heute's annual poll voted him Best Foreign Playwright, 2007. His adaptation of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.
“An unexpected return to naturalism for Simon Stephens in this frail, gorgeous monologue” – Time Out London
“Simon Stephens's Song From Far Away is one of the saddest plays I have ever seen . . . offset by mournfully funny moments.” – Observer
“It's a strong premise, and one that Stephens tackles with both humour and poignancy: there are some funny moments, and others that snatch the breath from the throat.” – Daily Telegraph
“a new monologue by Simon Stephens that treads lightly through the imagination yet leaves behind a set of indelible footprints. . . . Stephens's writing demands patience and an attentive ear. . . . this miniature tragedy about the comforts and terrors of intimacy is both as soft as a sigh, and bruisingly desolate.” – The Times
“there are echoes of Stephens's heartbreaking Sea Wall in the way it cradles grief and confronts how we disappear without trace. . . . Song from Far Away offers a window into the heart.” – Guardian
“Stephens muses on the concept of home and belonging; in this case, not just a geographical location, but the sense that we never settle down in this life itself.” – Financial Times
“a 75-minute meditative monologue - a searching study of impotently self-aware emotional insufficiency” – Independent