Page extent: 80
ISBN: 9781786827265
Binding: Paperback
Female Cast: 2 people of any gender

Dear Elizabeth

Sarah Ruhl

Paperback (22 Jan 2019)

Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell were two of America’s most brilliant poets. Throughout their lifetime, they wrote over 400 letters to each other; spanning decades, continents, political eras. Their connection was messy and profound, platonic yet romantic, intense and intangible. A love that resists easy definition.

These are their words.

Susan Smith Blackburn award winner Sarah Ruhl has crafted a stunning and quietly bold piece of theatre about what it means to love someone, and all the questions we regret never asking.

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781786827265
Female cast 2 people of any gender
Binding Paperback
Page Extent 80


"A rich testimony to the possibilities of romantic friendship." The Guardian ★★★★

"Sarah Ruhl’s Dear Elizabeth at the Gate Theatre is an unexpected joy: a touching and tender account of a life-long relationship explored with playful affection in Ellen McDougall’s innovative production... the show, like the letters, brings the craft of writing up against the improvisatory, unpredictable nature of life." Financial Times ★★★★

"As the actors read the letters, as fresh to them as the contents of any unopened envelope, there is lightness, and an airy sense of anticipation. The springiness of surprise... there’s a tantalising will-they-won’t-they element to their story, which Ruhl has surely emphasised here." Independent ★★★★

"McDougall’s approach is full of play and wit... Dear Elizabeth is as much about shortcomings as fulfilment: about letters that go missing, things that go unsaid, endlessly longed-for meetings and comfort that arrives too late... less like a dry literary exercise, and more like a haunted house, restoring power to emotional shocks sketched out in pen and ink." Time Out London ★★★★

"Director Ellen McDougall has taken Ruhl’s text and used it to create a work that aims to be as much about the nature of creativity as it is about the multifariousness of human connection." The Stage ★★★★

"Through careful work by McDougall and her team, the actors are gently coaxed into creating a complicated, fraught relationship between two individuals not averse to speaking openly with one another. It's less of a play about two poets, and more of a play about communication, and how, as an audience, we can be drawn into a bond that up until mere moments ago never existed." WhatsOnStage ★★★★