In his dramatic works, Ian Charles Lepine develops a metaphysics of theatre that seeks to illuminate/obfuscate the conflictive, paradoxical relation between characters and actors, the author and himself, and theatre and metatheatre.
His first play was a finalist in the 2017 Shakespeare's New Contemporaries competition
The Paths of Formless Love
As You Free Will
A Victimless Murder
The Daughters of Lord Wilberfoce
The Paths of Formless Love is a lighthearted farce, an existential drama, a philosophical treatise, and a post-modern comedy of manners set in London in the 1900s. It follows the formless paths of four couples who love each other almost as much as they mistake one for another. Mistaken identities are not so much a problem here as the mistake that is identity. Hilariously funny, and ontologically catastrophic, disturbing in its implications, and innocent in its atrocities, The Paths of Formless Love touches upon all of the most important themes in human life: love, death, free will, and, perhaps, chiefest amongst them, squirrels.
A post-modern comedy of manners where the playwright must suffer the free will of his characters, who believe they should have a say on the plot and who threaten to unionise if their demands are not met. Also available in French.
Inspector Gaspard G. Ganimard faces his toughest case yet: rather than a ‘who done it?’, he must ask himself ‘who didn’t do it?’ Everyone had motive to murder Lord Altringham, even himself, even people who hadn’t particularly met him yet. Will Ganimard get to the bottom of this by the use of his prodigious intelligence (read, good luck)? Or will the enigma prove too tiresome and will he just give up and consult the script as he often does when bored?
Nobody quite knows how Cuthbert, Lord Wilberforce acquired his immense fortune or exactly how much money he has, but amongst his family, this is the subject of constant speculation (though not always profitless, as there is a pool going). When Lady Wilberforce decides to leave him, her daughters Amelia, Cecelia, and Cordelia, must make a choice. Should they support their mother in a new life of honest labour or stay behind among the idle rich, giving sponge baths to their eternally-dying stepfather?
A Work in Little or No Progress
After a year of procrastination, a playwright tries to wing it and improvise the actual writing of his play in real-time and on opening night, to the many protests of his understandably angry theatre company. After several scenes of complete incompetence, the cast fires him and desires to take the play into their own hands, thus turning it from a light-hearted comedy of manners into a revenge tragedy set in Stalinist Russia.
m-47 Licence to Quill
Agent M-47 faces his toughest challenge yet: Abandoned to his own (secret) devices by his government, he must infiltrate Dr. Nightmare’s evil organisation, –alright, evil “family”– and thwart his masterplan to destroy the patriarchy, widely regarded by most experts as a crucial piece of our cultural heritage. M-47 will have to use all of his espionage skills and deliver the best one-liners if he hopes to attain the coveted title of International Man of Mystery.
The Hypocritic Oath
A slight pandemic ruins an Erasmus trip to Canterbury. A group of students find themselves in a crumbling NHS hospital while waiting for the results of their covid tests and trying to figure out who is to blame for what happened.
Death of the Author (Function)
What can a playwright do when writing a play becomes impossible save but to put that impossibility onstage? Five characters search for God with the sole intention of suing him, but in a universe void of God, what can they chase if not their own tails? A postmodern comedy of manners that shall prove a manifesto to a new literary movement: clinical insanitism
The Ghost of Writing Past
The Ghost of Lord Waltermut
The Island of Dr. Morceaux (Ph.D)
After solving the plot in the first act, four characters are ready to pass beyond the veil (i.e., the curtain) and be done with it all, when their author suddenly decides the play needs a rewrite and murders them in cold blood. Their ghosts now haunt the stage forevermore. This is their story: their life, death, afterlife, and unsuccessful attempts to pick up a simple deck of playing cards with their spectral hands. The question remains: how to spend the time between here and eternity?
For twenty years, Lili, Lila, and, Lulu Waltermut awaited with slavering mouths the death of their ‘beloved’ step-father. Now that Lord Waltermut has finally given up the ghost, his fortune is at last in their pockets. Yet Nature abhors a vacuum; how then to fill up the hole he has left in their lives? Madness, of corpse! But will they ever be able to escape the ghost of the man that dominated their lives for nearly two decades? What if now he also wants to dominate… the stage?
Once you have hunted your first human, it is remarkably hard to go back to just killing local fauna for sport. But as man is not a native species to his private island, Dr. Morceaux must become creative and abduct some prey if he hopes to indulge in his innocent pleasures… This time, however, the good, evil doctor has made a mistake: kidnapping a philosopher, an existential phenomenologist at that, and a lawyer who is threatening to sue for malpractice.