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SCOTNOTES Study Guides

Sue Glover’s

John Hodgart

Published in: Paperback.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2012
Price: £5.95
ISBN 978-1-906841-12-6

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Sue Glover (1943–) began writing plays in the 1970s, making her stage debut at the Little Lyceum in 1980 with The Seal Wife, her first full-length play, in which many of the recurring features and concerns of her work are to be found: the influence of oral culture and folklore, and the re-examination of history, legend and myth from a female perspective.

John Hodgart’s Scotnote examines two of Sue Glover’s plays, Bondagers and The Straw Chair. Both plays can be seen in the context of a very strong tradition of modern Scottish feminist drama which includes the work of Ena Lamont Stewart, Joan Ure, Liz Lochhead, Rona Munro and others. Bondagers is a powerful and moving drama about a band of brave, vulnerable women struggling to survive hardship, exploitation and injustice. The Straw Chair is set on St Kilda, and tells the story of Lady Grange’s exile on that distant island. In both plays, Glover gives voices to exploited or alienated women whose identity has been determined by their domestic or working role or their social status in a hypocritical patriarchal society. Issues of set and staging are explored as well as the themes of the plays. This guide is suitable for senior school pupils and students at all levels.


  • Sue Glover’s Plays
  • Depicting the Peasantry
  • Bondagers
    • Introduction
    • Setting and structure
    • Plot
  • Characters and Themes
    • The women
    • The men
  • Dramatic Technique and Style
    • Set and staging
    • Sound and lighting
    • Dress and props
    • Movement, dance and mime
    • Songs and rhymes
    • Further investigation
  • Language, Imagery and Symbolism
  • Further Discussion of Themes
  • Further Reading
  • The Straw Chair
    • Brief synopsis
  • Commentary
  • Imagery and Symbolism
  • Conclusion
  • Further Reading


Last updated 12 October 2012.