The Ascent of Monte Grappa


Howard Barker

Published by John Calder Publications

Howard Barker's "Ascent of Monte Grappa" is a meditation on three moments in the human history of a mountain, an engagement with the political, religious and sexual associations of the place. In its concern for meaning in random events, and its concern for the uncelebrated figures of the past, it reveals new aspects of a poetic imagination already announced and applauded in the European theatre

Here, the frictions and ecstacies of desire are examined in the context of the ironies of passing time. If Barker's "Don't Exaggerate" vibrated with the unbearable lucidity of a protagonist unjustly killed, and his "Gary the Thief" articulated the rejection of social platitudes by a criminal mind, "The Ascent", speaking in a more private voice, confronts the calculations that are a necessary element of love

Also included here are poems culled from the European revolutions of 1989, including the simultaneously apprehensive and celebratory "1989", a cacophony on the European identity, which like all Barker's theatre and poetry, insists on the presence of the past in moments of apparent rupture

Along with the urban poems "Mates of Wrath", this is a collection whose varied tones of contemplation, assertion and renunciation mark a distinctive voice in English culture

Browse Library

About Stageplays

Stageplays offers you the largest collection of Plays & Musicals in the world.

Based in the UK and the USA, we’ve been serving the online theatre community since the last century. We’re primarily a family-run business and several of us also work in professional theatre.

But we’re all passionate about theatre and we all work hard to share that passion with you and the world’s online community.

Subscribe to our theatre newsletter

We'll email you regular details of new plays and half-price special offers on a broad range of theatre titles.


We can deliver any play in print to any country in the world - and we ship from both the US and the UK.

© 2010 - 2022 Stageplays, Inc.