A striking and sharply funny reflection on the frailty of existence and the complex relationship between knowledge and love.
Winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
A celebrated but exacting professor of metaphysical poetry, Vivian Bearing has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. It seems her life is nearing its final chapter.
As she submits herself to an experimental treatment, Vivian approaches her illness with the same uncompromising rigour she brings to bear on the sonnets of John Donne. And through it all she comes to reassess her life and her work with profundity and a moving wry humour.
Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit was first performed in 1995. It was revived at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in 2016, with Julie Hesmondhalgh.
'Cuts deep… a coruscating metaphor for all our helpless efforts to orchestrate our lives, despite our awareness of our mortality'
'Delightfully funny and deeply moving… its final radiant moment is breathtaking'
'Truly wonderful – emotionally battering, yes, but very funny, never mawkish and ultimately exultant'
'Edson’s writing has its harrowing moments but it is never maudlin… A genuinely life-enhancing play about death
'heart-battering... as glorious and cathartic as theatre gets'
'An original and urgent work of art. Among the finest plays of the decade'
'A dazzling and humane play you will remember until your dying day'
'A brutally human and beautifully layered new play. You will feel both enlightened and, in a strange way, enormously comforted'
Margaret Edson lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she is an elementary school teacher. Between earning degrees in history and literature, she worked in the cancer and AIDS unit of a research hospital. Wit, her first play, won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.