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The Fever (Playscript)

Wallace Shawn

The Fever by Wallace Shawn follows a traveller who falls ill in a poor country, and plummets into a fever of self-examination.

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A traveller falls ill in a poor country and plummets into a feverish self-examination.

But something’s been hidden from me, too. Something – a part of myself – has been hidden from me, and I think it’s the part that’s there on the surface, what anyone in the world could see about me if they saw out the window of a passing train. The incredible history of my feelings and my thoughts could fill up a dozen leather-bound books. But the story of my life – my behaviour, my actions – now that’s a slim little paperback, and I’ve never read it.

The Fever was first performed by the author in an apartment near Seventh Avenue in New York City in January 1990. It was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1991, and at the Ambassadors Theatre in 1997. The Fever was revived at the Royal Court Theatre in April 2009.


Wallace Shawn’s first play to be produced in New York was Our Late Night, directed by André Gregory at The Public Theater in 1975. A Thought in Three Parts was staged two years later by the Joint Stock Theatre Group in London, directed by Max Stafford-Clark. Shawn’s next three plays – Marie and Bruce, Aunt Dan & Lemon, and The…

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