by Raymond Carver


This production (originally developed at RADA) dramatises five of Raymond Carver’s finest stories: What’s in Alaska?, Fat, Cathedral, Put Yourself in My Shoes and Intimacy. William Gaskill will direct a company of 10 actors.  



Raymond Carver (1938-1988) has been hailed as the American Chekhov. His short stories contain the same mixture of optimism and disillusion which characterise the Russian master. Like Chekhov, Carver writes of the lives of undistinguished people with penetration, humour and sympathy. His writing captures ordinary people at moments of quiet crisis or sudden revelation.


“A whole culture and a whole moral condition is represented by even the most seemingly slight sketch” – Frank Kermode


Carver was born in Oregon in 1938.  His first collection of short stories, Put Yourself in My Shoes, appeared in 1974. He died of lung cancer in 1988 and Where I’m Calling From, a selection of his short fiction was published the same year. Much of what he wrote about was based on his own experiences in the Pacific North West of the United States, where he lived and worked for most of his life. He famously claimed that “everything we write is, in some way, autobiographical.” Since his death he has gained international recognition. Robert Altman’s 1993 film Shortcuts helped to put Carver firmly on the cultural map.

by Raymond Carver


William Gaskill was artistic director of the Royal Court between 1965 and 1972. He has directed premieres of plays by David Hare, John Arden, Edward Bond, Howard Barker and Arnold Wesker as well as the British premieres of many Brecht plays. He was a co-founder of Joint Stock Theatre Company and of the National Theatre. He has directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, London’s West End and theatres all over the world.

Jon Bausor is the designer behind Frankenstein at the Derby Playhouse, On Trial in the Lyttleton Loft (RNT), as well as the Direct Action season and The Soul of Chi’en-nu Leaves Her Body at the Young Vic. His most recent credits include Tartuffe and “The Last Waltz” season at the Arcola.

Schools’ Workshops

We are offering workshops for school groups to accompany the production on “acting”, “the rehearsal process” and “page to stage”. These workshops can take place at the Arcola or can be brought to your school. Please call Dan on 020 7503 1616 or email for more details.

Schools’ Discounts

We are very keen that students of literature, drama and theatre studies are able to see the production, so we are offering1 free ticket for every 10 tickets bought for school groups. Please call 0207 503 1616 to take advantage of this offer.

Concession Tickets

Please note that concession ID must be shown when collecting tickets, in the case that auduence do not have their ID with them, the full price must be charged. We are you sure that you understand why this is necessary.