THE STORY: OR, takes place (mostly) during one night in the life of Aphra Behn, poet, spy, and soon to be the first professional female playwright. Sprung from debtors’ prison after a disastrous overseas mission, Aphra is desperate to get out of the spy trade. She has a shot at a production at one of only two London companies, if she can only finish her play by morning despite interruptions from sudden new love, actress Nell Gwynne; complicated royal love, King Charles II; and very dodgy ex-love, double-agent William Scot—who may be in on a plot to murder the king in the morning. Can Aphra resist Nell’s charms, save Charles’ life, win William a pardon, and launch her career, all in one night? Against a background of a long drawn-out war and a counter-culture of free love, cross-dressing, and pastoral lyricism, the 1660s look a lot like the 1960s in this neo-Restoration comedy from the playwright The San Francisco Bay Guardian called “an artist of playful and highly literate imagination, radical instincts, and sardonic but generous humor."
“Luminaries of seventeenth-century England are resurrected and made to do the frug in OR, a playful, funny and inventive comedy…[Ms. Adams'] language has a natural period flavor and a formidable wit; her characters possess the spark of fully animated spirits; and she weaves into her story both biographical detail and cultural context with grace…Ms. Adams’ smartly conceived unraveling of figures corseted in history honors the remarkable facts of Behn’s groundbreaking career.” —The New York Times.
“Liz Duffy Adams’ historical romp of a backstage sex farce about Restoration playwright Aphra Behn displays style, humor, and jaw-dropping wit.” —BackStage.
“Adams’ historical play celebrates not only Behn’s pioneering career, which Virginia Woolf famously memorialized…('All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn'), but also the side of the writer’s tumultuous life that Woolf dismissed as 'shady and amorous'…[Adams] has written an Aphra-disiac valentine, not a stodgy bio-play.” —Time Out New York.