The Fence takes its inspiration from the ever present symbol of the physical frontier, as ancient as the Great Wall of China or as arbitrary as the Berlin Wall, but especially its most recent manifestation in Gaza, where the long distance fence currently under construction to separate Palestinian and Jewish communities is a literal barrier between peoples from different cultures.
Howard Barker builds a compelling metaphor for two agonies; the agony of cultural conflict, racial antagonism, mutual incomprehension, suspicion and mistrust with all its attendance mythology, and the agony of blindness, both literal and that which refuses to see. These explorations of deprivation and mutual hostility are bound together in a single narrative in which The Fence is a powerful barrier that must be overcome in order to move both individuals and society forward.
Powerful poetic language, provocative ideas and rich, dark humour build
The Fence makes a thought-provoking contribution to the debates surrounding one of the great social crises of our times. Howard Barker has not directly responded to an existing social/ political issue since the arms race inspired his classic and award winning The Castle of 1985. In that work he created a powerful image of our time using a historic setting. Here he invents a world of shocking relevance and universal metaphor in a place that might be England now or any place struggling with cultural taboos, transgression and difference anywhere in the world
This play contains strong language and scenes of an explicit nature. Suitable for 15+.
Supported by Arts Council England