Aunt Dan and Lemon

Wallace Shawn
Date Published
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A thrilling friend of her parents casts a spell over a young girl. A study in the glamour of brutal ideas.

Susie, he’s not just an individual like you and me – he works for the government. It’s as if you were saying that you and I are so nice every day and why can’t our governments be just like us! But you know the whole thing, Susie – you and I are only able to be nice because our governments – our governments are not nice! – so that if you see me putting this spoon in my purse, you don’t have to wrestle me to get the spoon back, you can just pick up the phone and call the police. And if there are people attacking our friends in Southeast Asia, you and I don’t have to go over there and fight them with rifles – we just get Kissinger to fight them for us.

Aunt Dan and Lemon was first produced by the Royal Court Theatre, London, and the New York Shakespeare Festival and received its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in August 1985. The play was revived at the Royal Court Theatre in May 2009.


Wallace Shawn’s first play to be produced in New York was Our Late Night, directed by AndrĂ© 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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