The Really Popular Book Club: A Streetcar Named Desire

The Really Popular Book Club: A Streetcar Named Desire

The Really Popular Book Club: A Streetcar Named Desire
Wednesday 27 October 2021, 7.00pm to 8.00pm BST
Past event
Past event
Wednesday 27 October 2021, 7.00pm to 8.00pm BST
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Public (open to all)
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The Really Popular Book Club is the reading group hosted by Cambridge University Libraries. Everyone is invited to join them and their special guests to discuss a really popular book, one that we all know and perhaps or perhaps not love.

This September the Club will be discussing a play: A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams’ steamy modern masterpiece, which has enthralled audiences since its stage premiere in 1947. When fading Southern belle, Blanche DuBois, arrives in New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella, her haughty old-world grandeur and haunted fragility clashes with the virile new-world masculinity of Stella’s immigrant husband, Stanley Kowalski, with disastrous consequences…

The special guest for the evening will be Robyn Winfield-Smith, Artistic Director of Liminal Stage Productions, Associate Learning Practitioner with the Royal Shakespeare Company and ‘Transform’ Clore Fellow 2021.

About A Streetcar Named Desire, Robyn says: ‘Smouldering under the lyrical and at times melodramatic surface of Streetcar are so many deep human truths and social complexities: about gender roles and sexual politics; about the triumph of the new industrial age over aristocratic complacency; about hidden trauma and escapist fantasy; about what people will do to survive. Williams’ electrifying play lays layer after layer of human nature bare through its extraordinary sequence of eleven finely-drawn theatrical scenes.’

As well as hearing from Robyn about her thoughts and observations on A Streetcar Named Desire, the Club will once again be opening the floor up to you, the club members, to share your own observations and remarks. To get you thinking and to help prepare any comments or questions you might want to share, we have prepared three starter questions:

  1. What do you think of Blanche? 
  2. ‘The past ris[es] inexorably to the surface where it [erupts] explosively into the present’. What other repressed (or irrepressible) things are rising to the surface in Streetcar?
  3. Must this play be staged in post-war America, or can it be re-imagined in a present-day production? What are the implications of either choice – or of choices that exist in between? 

Further information about The Really Popular Book Club, including our FAQs, can be found here.

Booking information

Booking for this event is now closed.


United Kingdom