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approaching zanzibar header


This play follows the Blossom family as they travel cross-country to see Aunt Olivia, who has cancer. She is a renowned environmental artist who creates enormous sculptures out of kites. The family camps along the way, having various adventures and meeting relatives and strangers. When they arrive in Taos, New Mexico, Olivia is fading in and out of reality — or is she?


(Please note that so far no reviews have been found for the 1997 Southwark Playhouse production of Approaching Zanzibar. All the following press quotes were taken from American articles about other productions of the play. We have chosen to reproduce them here because they are about the script itself.)

‘‘A comedy with serious undertones . . . that takes the audience by surprise time after time. . . . What pervades the show is Miss Howe’s originality and purity of dramatic imagination.’’—New Yorker.

"Approaching Zanzibar is a wonderful play - an odd and mirthful adventure and a graceful, literate rumination on birth, death, growing up, and growing old. Howe packs so much fun and meaning into her new play that Approaching Zanzibar is practically a theatrical hall full of mirrors. Zany, profound, and self-reflective."
- Peter Wynne, The Record

"The writing is lovely, the sensibility is appealing, the characters are attractive and the theme is weighty. Approaching Zanzibar is unmistakably the work of a talented and life-affirming writer."
- Humm, Variety

"Approaching Zanzibar takes a magical journey through the difficult terrain of life and death."
- East Side Express


The script of the play is now available, you can buy it here.

Click on the thumbnails to view the book cover in high resolution.

zanzibar script front zanzibar script back

Read the first 2 pages:

zanzibar script front zanzibar script back

Click on the thumbnails to view the pages.

The images used on this page were downloaded from

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