Vincent in Brixton by Nicholas Wright and Inventing Van Gogh by Steven Dietz
It is nothing new to say that Vincent van Gogh was a complex, greatly troubled man. But these two plays look deep into Van Gogh at two different stages and together compliment, enrich, and bring to life Vincent, the human.
Vincent in Brixton by British playwright Nicholas Wright focuses on Vincent before he drew his first sketch. It depicts a young man, someone full of life yet struggling to find his way and to walk the artist's path. While living in a boarding house, Vincent develops a relationship with a troubled older woman named Ursula. Wright understands that the most important aspect of a relationship between people, or even painter and art, is the shared experience of the soul. In Vincent in Brixton, he uses Van Gogh's experiences with Ursula to illustrate this point; it is she who inspires Vincent to live and to paint with passion.
In the preface of Inventing Van Gogh, American playwright Steven Dietz quotes Van Gogh himself:
Exaggerate the essential; leave the obvious vague. Dietz then applies this idea to the structure and setting of the play, which shifts fluidly between the 1880s