Martin Crimp is a modern British playwright. Born on February the 14th of 1956, in the city of Dartford, in Kent, Great Britain, he went on to write over a dozen plays and more-or-less seven translations of plays. His playwriting career began in the early 1980s and has continued until the present day. As the man is still alive and his future actions unaccounted for, these numbers are subject to change.
Crimp takes a very negative view of humans in general, human relations in specific, in his plays. He writes strangely natural dialogue, so rife with pauses, repetitions, and 'unnecessary' words that it sometimes sounds as if the actor is forgetting his lines when performing them properly. His works are colored with an emotionally detached, clinical feeling, filled with witty but deliberately empty words and imagery. Based on readings of several of his plays, one is also led to believe that he has a minor fixation on shoes, beyond his obvious tendencies towards foreign languages and expletives.
Probably his most critically acclaimed and widely performed work is 'Attempts on Her Life - 17 Scenarios For The Theatre', written in 1997. These disjointed scenarios have no setting, no description of place, time, or personae. There is never a description of the stage, characters or even the number of actors necessary. It is merely commented at the beginning of the text that a dash indicates a change in speaker, and a slash indicates overlapping text. Every one of the scenarios has only one thing in common, beyond the formatting; their subject goes by the name Anne/Anna/Anya. However, in order of scenarios, Anne is:
- Everything. 1 is a set of phone messages referencing most of the other scenarios.
- A young idealist, being envisioned having sex with an older, powerful man.
- A member of a destroyed, idyllic cultural group, who shared her name with a tree.
- A very strange woman.
- A megastar.
- Simultaneously the world-roaming, ultimately suicidal daughter of a mourning couple, and a 'singles host'
- A new car.
- A woman with a bad ashtray and major world-shaking accomplishments.
- A calculating, very sane terrorist.
- A member of a group of idealist extremists.
- An artist who works in the medium of suicide.
- A child, in two plastic bags.
- A vehicle for alien mind-control of the world.
- The girl next door.
- A woman who sells tomato plants at fetes.
- A pornographic movie star.
- Who even knows? The scene is about murder and frozen salmon terminology!