Winner of the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama
Winner of the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best New Canadian Play of 2016
“Tannahill’s work is witty, sexy, and audacious, with a strong emotional core.” —Martin Morrow, Torontoist
“The best new Canadian play of the year.” —Robert Cushman, National Post
“Jordan Tannahill’s bracingly fresh double bill takes fragments of stories from the historical record and turns them into plays for today, damning more than a few torpedoes as he goes.” —Karen Fricker, Toronto Star
Award-winning playwright Jordan Tannahill is back with modern-day queer and feminist retellings of two momentous events—one historic, one mythic. Botticelli in the Fire imagines the famed painter Sandro Botticelli as an irrepressible seeker of love and pleasure, caught in sexual and political brinkmanship. In Sunday in Sodom, Lot’s wife, Edith, tells of the Biblical destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but set in the present day.
Painter Sandro Botticelli is an irrepressible libertine, renowned for his weekend-long orgies as much as he is for his great masterpieces of the early Renaissance. But things get complicated when Lorenzo de’ Medici commissions Botticelli to paint a portrait of his wife, Clarice. What emerges is the famed The Birth of Venus and a love triangle involving Botticelli’s young assistant Leonardo that risks setting their world alight. For while Florence of 1497 is a liberal city, civil unrest is stoked by the charismatic friar Girolamo Savonarola who begins calling for sodomites to be burned at the pyre.
In the Bible she is unnamed, referred to simply as “Lot’s wife.” In Sunday in Sodom, Edith recounts how her husband welcomed two American soldiers into their house, the fury this sparked in their village, and the chain of events that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. But most importantly, Edith sets the record straight as to why, after being told not to, she looked back upon the destruction of her hometown and turned into a pillar of salt.