State of the Nation

British Theatre Since 1945

Author: Michael Billington

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780571210497

Category: Theater

Page: 435

View: 764

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State of the Nation: British Theatre since 1945 looks at post-war Britain from a theatrical perspective. It examines the constant interplay between theatre and society from the resurgent optimism of the Attlee years to the satire boom of the Sixties and the growth of political theatre under Tony Blair in the post-Iraq period. Featuring detailed evaluations of writers from J. B. Priestly and Terence Rattigan to Alan Bennett and David Hare, Billington is continuously insightful and incisive. As Britain's longest-serving theatre critic Michael Billington is uniquely placed to offer an authoritative overview of modern British theatre, and the book offers a passionate defence of the dramatist as the medium's key creative figure. Controversial, witty and informed, State of the Nation offers a fresh and challenging look at the vast upheavals that have taken place in British society, and the theatre which documents and challenges it, in the course of sixty turbulent years. '[Billington] views his subject as a "vehicle of moral enquiry" and brings to bear wide experience, astute opinion and diligent research to write what for many might become the definitive book on theatre in the period between the departures of Churchill and Blair . . . This book should be a must for Christmas stocking of anyone interested in theatre in this country. It will give readers hours of pleasure and in many cases, the odd splutter of indignation as a forthright opinion does not fit in with their own. That is the mark of a good critic and Michael Billington is one of the very best.' British Theatre Guide

Modern British Playwriting: the 80s

Voices, Documents, New Interpretations

Author: Jane Milling

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408129590

Category: Drama

Page: 352

View: 1597

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A critical study of the theatre produced in the 1980s with an in-depth analysis of the work of four key playwrights from the decade.

Modern British Playwriting: The 1980s

Voices, Documents, New Interpretations

Author: Jane Milling

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408129604

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 1306

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Modern British Playwriting: The 1980s equips readers with a fresh assessment of the theatre and principle playwrights and plays from a decade when political and economic forces were changing society dramatically. It offers a broad survey of the context and of the playwrights and companies such as Complicité and DV8 that rose to prominence at this time. Alongside this it provides a detailed examination based on fresh research of four of the most significant playwrights of the era and considers the influence they had on later work. The 1980s volume features a detailed study by four scholars of the work of four of the major playwrights who came to prominence: Howard Barker (by Sarah Goldingay), Jim Cartwright (David Lane), Sarah Daniels (Jane Milling) and Timberlake Wertenbaker (Sara Freeman). Essential for students of Theatre Studies, the series of six decadal volumes provides a critical survey and study of the theatre produced from the 1950s to 2009. Each volume features a critical analysis of the work of four key playwrights besides other theatre work from that decade, together with an extensive commentary on the period. Readers will understand the works in their contexts and be presented with fresh research material and a reassessment from the perspective of the twenty-first century. This is an authoritative and stimulating reassessment of British playwriting in the 1980s.

British Theatre Since the War

Author: Dominic Shellard

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300147910

Category: PERFORMING ARTS

Page: 280

View: 9769

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British theatre of the past fifty years has been brilliant, varied, and controversial, encompassing invigorating indigenous drama, politically didactic writing, the formation of such institutions as the National Theatre, the exporting of musicals worldwide from the West End, and much more. This entertaining and authoritative book is the first comprehensive account of British theatre in this period. Dominic Shellard moves chronologically through the half-century, discussing important plays, performers, directors, playwrights, critics, censors, and agents as well as the social, political, and financial developments that influenced the theatre world. Drawing on previously unseen material (such as the Kenneth Tynan archives), first-hand testimony, and detailed research, Shellard tackles several long-held assumptions about drama of the period. He questions the dominance of "Look Back in Anger "in the 1950s, arguing that much of the theatre of the ten years prior to its premiere in 1956 was vibrant and worthwhile. He suggests that theatre criticism, theatre producers, and such institutions as the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company have played key roles in the evolution of recent drama. And he takes a fresh look at the work of Terence Rattigan, Harold Pinter, Joe Orton, Alan Ayckbourn, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and other significant playwrights of the modern era. The book will be a valuable resource not only for students of theatre history but also for any theatre enthusiast.

Changing Performance

Culture and Performance in the British Theatre Since 1945

Author: D. Keith Peacock

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 9783039110711

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 284

View: 630

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This book examines changes in performance practice in mainstream British theatre since 1945 which focus on the attempt by directors and companies to replace the realism of inter-war theatre with more physically and vocally expressive acting and ensemble approach to production processes. The aim was to replace the capitalist line-management approach of the commercial theatre with a more democratic collaborative structure that would encourage contribution to the creation of the performance text by the director, writer, actors, designers and technicians. Theatre is viewed as a mode of socio-cultural practice and its evolution in Britain during the second half of the twentieth century is explored in the context of changes in cultural perception, state subsidy, the social status of theatre, technology, and aesthetic influences from abroad. The study focuses not on dramatic texts but on mainstream productions that represent stages in an aesthetic evolution. They include Terence Rattigan's "The Browning Version" (1946); Theatre Workshop's "A Taste of Honey "(1958) and "Oh What a Lovely War" (1963); The Royal Shakespeare Company's "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" (1962), "The Wars of the Roses" (1963), "The Theatre of Cruelty Laboratory" (1964), "The Marat-Sade" (1964) and "US "(1966); Steven Berkoff's "Metamorphosis" (1969) and Complicite's "The Three Lives of Lucy Cabrol" (1994).

One Night Stands

A Critic's View of Modern British Theatre

Author: Michael Billington

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9781854596604

Category: Drama

Page: 382

View: 1427

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Michael Billington's own selection from twenty years of reviewing theatre for The Guardian - from 1971-1991. Arranged chronologically, with an extensive introduction on the role of the critic, these reviews and occasional 'think pieces' add up to an authoritative yet highly personal history of British theatre over two vital decades at the end of the twentieth century. 'Easily the most important collection since Tynan, and the most enjoyable' Observer 'invaluable... When it comes to scrupulous, generous, enthralled and knowledgeable responsiveness to theatre, he is unequalled' TLS

Modern British Playwriting: The 1970s

Voices, Documents, New Interpretations

Author: Chris Megson

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408129396

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 312

View: 4184

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Essential for students of Theatre Studies, this series of six decadal volumes provides a critical survey and reassessment of the theatre produced in each decade from the 1950s to the present. Each volume equips readers with an understanding of the context from which work emerged, a detailed overview of the range of theatrical activity and a close study of the work of four of the major playwrights by a team of leading scholars. Chris Megson's comprehensive survey of the theatre of the 1970s examines the work of four playwrights who came to promience in the decade and whose work remains undiminished today: Caryl Churchill (by Paola Botham), David Hare (Chris Megson), Howard Brenton (Richard Boon) and David Edgar (Janelle Reinelt). It analyses their work then, its legacy today and provides a fresh assessment of their contribution to British theatre. Interviews with the playwrights, with directors and with actors provides an invaluable collection of documents offering new perspectives on the work. Revisiting the decade from the perspective of the twenty-first century, Chris Megson provides an authoritative and stimulating reassessment of British playwriting in the 1970s.

Dangerous Edges of Graham Greene

Journeys with Saints and Sinners

Author: Dermot Gilvary,Darren J. N. Middleton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1441144382

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 8878

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Informative, broad-ranging, and sheds new light on the life and literary art of one of the last century's most celebrated authors.

The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights

Author: Martin Middeke,Peter Paul Schnierer,Aleks Sierz

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408159678

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 544

View: 376

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The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights is an authoritative guide to the work of twenty-five playwrights who have risen to prominence since the 1980s. Written by an international team of scholars, it will be invaluable to anyone interested in, studying or teaching contemporary drama. Among the many playwrights whose work is examined are Sarah Daniels, Terry Johnson, Martin Crimp, Sarah Kane, Anthony Neilson, Mark Ravenhill, Simon Stephens, Debbie Tucker Green, Tanika Gupta and Richard Bean. Each essay features: A biographical sketch and introduction to the playwright A discussion of their most important plays An analysis of their stylistic and thematic traits, the critical reception and their place in the discourses of British theatre A bibliography of texts and critical material

Stephen Joseph: Theatre Pioneer and Provocateur

Author: Paul Elsam

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472515501

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 272

View: 6988

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A 1967 obituary in The Times labelled Stephen Joseph 'the most successful missionary to work in the English theatre since the second world war'. This radical man brought theatre-in-the-round to Britain, provoked Ayckbourn, Pinter and verbatim theatre creator Peter Cheeseman to write and direct, and democratised theatregoing. This monograph investigates his forgotten legacy. This monograph draws on largely unsorted archival material (including letters from Harold Pinter, J. B. Priestley, Peggy Ramsay and others), and on new interviews with figures including Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Trevor Griffiths and Sir Ben Kingsley, to demonstrate how the impact on theatre in Britain of manager, director and 'missionary' Stephen Joseph has been far greater than is currently acknowledged within traditional theatre history narratives. The text provides a detailed assessment of Joseph's work and ideas during his lifetime, and summarises his broadly-unrecognised posthumous legacy within contemporary theatre. Throughout the book Paul Elsam identifies Joseph's work and ideas, and illustrates and analyses how others have responded to them. Key incidents and events during Joseph's career are interrogated, and case studies that highlight Joseph's influence and working methods are provided.

Dramaturgy in the Making

A User's Guide for Theatre Practitioners

Author: Katalin Trencsényi

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408155672

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 352

View: 5694

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Dramaturgy in the Making maps contemporary dramaturgical practices in various settings of theatre-making and dance to reveal the different ways that dramaturgs work today. It provides a thorough survey of three major areas of practice - institutional dramaturgy, production dramaturgy and dance dramaturgy - with each illustrated through a range of case studies that illuminate methodology and which will assist practitioners in developing their own 'dramaturgical toolbox'. In tracing the development of the role of the dramaturg, the author explores the contribution of Lessing, Brecht and Tynan, foundational figures who shaped the practice. She excavates the historical and theoretical contexts for each strand of the work, uniquely offering a history of dance dramaturgy and its associated theories. Based on extensive research, the volume features material from the author's interviews with fifty eminent professionals from Europe and North America, including: Robert Blacker, Jack Bradley, DD Kugler, Ruth Little and Hildegard De Vuyst. Through these, a detailed and precise insight is provided into dramaturgical processes at organisations such as the Akram Khan Company, les ballets C de la B (Gent), the National Theatre and the Royal Court (London), the SchaubÃ1⁄4hne (Berlin) and The Sundance Institute Theatre Lab (Utah), among others. Dramaturgy in the Making will prove indispensable to anyone working in theatre or wanting to better understand the dramaturgical processes in performance-making today. The book features a foreword by Geoff Proehl, author of Toward a Dramaturgical Sensibility: Landscape and Journey.

Look Back in Anger

Author: John Osborne

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571300871

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 96

View: 715

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In 1956 John Osborne's Look Back in Anger changed the course of English theatre. 'Look Back in Anger presents post-war youth as it really is. To have done this at all would be a significant achievement; to have done it in a first play is a minor miracle. All the qualities are there, qualities one had despaired of ever seeing on stage - the drift towards anarchy, the instinctive leftishness, the automatic rejection of "official" attitudes, the surrealist sense of humour . . . the casual promiscuity, the sense of lacking a crusade worth fighting for and, underlying all these, the determination that no one who dies shall go unmourned.' Kenneth Tynan, Observer, 13 May 1956 'Look Back in Anger . . . has its inarguable importance as the beginning of a revolution in the British theatre, and as the central and most immediately influential expression of the mood of its time, the mood of the "angry young man".' John Russell Taylor

West End Broadway

The Golden Age of the American Musical in London

Author: Adrian Wright

Publisher: Boydell Press

ISBN: 1843837919

Category: Music

Page: 364

View: 5778

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"West End Broadway discusses every American musical seen in London between 1945 and 1972."--Jacket.

The 101 Greatest Plays

From Antiquity to the Present

Author: Michael Billington

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 1783350326

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 400

View: 7273

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Having surveyed post-war British drama in State of the Nation, Michael Billington now looks at the global picture. In this provocative and challenging new book, he offers his highly personal selection of the 100 greatest plays ranging from the Greeks to the present-day. But his book is no mere list. Billington justifies his choices in extended essays- and even occasional dialogues- that put the plays in context, explain their significance and trace their performance history. In the end, it's a book that poses an infinite number of questions. What makes a great play? Does the definition change with time and circumstance? Or are certain common factors visible down the ages? It's safe to say that it's a book that, in revising the accepted canon, is bound to stimulate passionate argument and debate. Everyone will have strong views on Billington's chosen hundred and will be inspired to make their own selections. But, coming from Britain's longest-serving theatre critic, these essays are the product of a lifetime spent watching and reading plays and record the adventures of a soul amongst masterpieces.

John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to Movie Star

Author: Jonathan Croall

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408131072

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 736

View: 6111

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In his lifetime Gielgud was acclaimed as the finest classical actor of the twentieth century and Jonathan Croall's biography from 2000 was instantly recognised by critics as a masterful achievement, one that was 'unlikely to be surpassed' (Sunday Telegraph). Since that time however a considerable amount of new material has come to light and the passing of time has allowed a new candour. John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to Movie Star sees this peerless biographer return to his subject to offer the definitive life of Gielgud. For this new biography Croall's exhaustive research has included over a hundred new interviews with key people from his life and career, several hundred letters from Gielgud that have never been published, scores of letters written to him and archived versions of his film and television work. As Gielgud worked increasingly in this medium during the last third of his life much greater attention is given to this than in the earlier work. Fresh light is thrown on his professional relationships with figures such as Laurence Olivier and Edith Evans, and on turbulent episodes of his private life. The overall result is a a much more rounded, candid and richly textured portrait of this celebrated and complex actor.

Shakespeare and I

Author: William McKenzie,Theodora Papadopoulou

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 144119200X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 304

View: 311

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Following the ethos and ambition of the Shakespeare NOW! series, and harnessing the energy, challenge and vigour of the 'minigraph' form, Shakespeare and I is a provocative appeal and manifesto for a more personal form of criticism. A number of the most exciting and authoritative writers on Shakespeare examine and scrutinise their deepest, most personal and intimate responses to Shakespeare's plays and poems, to ask themselves if and how Shakespeare has made them the person they are. Their responses include autobiographical histories, reflections on their relationship to their professional, institutional or familial roles and meditations on the person-making force of religious or political conviction. A blog at http://shakespearenowseries.blogspot.com enables both contributors and readers to continue the debate about why Shakespeare keeps us reading and what that means for our lives today. The book aims to inspire readers to think and write about their ever-changing personal relationship with Shakespeare: about how the poems and plays - and writing about them - can reveal or transform our sense of ourselves.

Forgotten Armies

The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945

Author: Christopher Alan Bayly,Timothy Norman Harper

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674017481

Category: History

Page: 555

View: 7287

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In the early stages of the Second World War, the vast crescent of British-ruled territories stretching from India to Singapore appeared as a massive Allied asset. It provided scores of soldiers and great quantities of raw materials and helped present a seemingly impregnable global defense against the Axis. Yet, within a few weeks in 1941-42, a Japanese invasion had destroyed all this, sweeping suddenly and decisively through south and southeast Asia to the Indian frontier, and provoking the extraordinary revolutionary struggles which would mark the beginning of the end of British dominion in the East and the rise of today's Asian world. More than a military history, this gripping account of groundbreaking battles and guerrilla campaigns creates a panoramic view of British Asia as it was ravaged by warfare, nationalist insurgency, disease, and famine. It breathes life into the armies of soldiers, civilians, laborers, businessmen, comfort women, doctors, and nurses who confronted the daily brutalities of a combat zone which extended from metropolitan cities to remote jungles, from tropical plantations to the Himalayas. Drawing upon a vast range of Indian, Burmese, Chinese, and Malay as well as British, American, and Japanese voices, the authors make vivid one of the central dramas of the twentieth century: the birth of modern south and southeast Asia and the death of British rule.

The Politics of Globality since 1945

Assembling the Planet

Author: Rens van Munster,Casper Sylvest

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317239881

Category: Political Science

Page: 202

View: 1517

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This timely, comprehensive and interdisciplinary volume advances an original argument about the complex roots and multiple politics of globality. It shows that technological innovations and decisive developments since 1945 – from the nuclear revolution to anthropogenic climate change and debates about the Anthropocene – have prompted reflections on the global condition of humanity and helped reshape political communities by making the world (appear) small, manageable and interconnected. The contributors stress how human beings have transformed both their habitat and their view of human-earth relations since 1945. Such changes have been accompanied by important shifts in political visions, prompted new forms of human association, encouraged legal and institutional reform and spurred ideas about ecological humility. At the same time, the spatially all-encompassing nature of globality have also informed projects of human mastery and a range of practices historically associated with militarization and a strongly statist conception of national security. This volume reflects on these paradoxical relationships, their history and contemporary relevance. Contributing to the overlapping concerns of four burgeoning fields of study across the humanities and the social sciences - globality and globalization studies; geopolitics and political geography; Anthropocene studies; global governance and political theory – the book will be of great use to scholars and graduates working in these areas.

In-Yer-Face Theatre

British Drama Today

Author: Aleks Sierz

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571318495

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 288

View: 3337

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The most controversial and newsworthy plays of British theatre are a rash of rude, vicious and provocative pieces by a brat pack of twentysomethings whose debuts startled critics and audiences with their heady mix of sex, violence and street-poetry. In-Yer-Face Theatre is the first book to study this exciting outburst of creative self-expression by what in other contexts has been called Generation X, or Thatcher's Children, the 'yoof' who grew up during the last Conservative Government. The book argues that, for example, Trainspotting, Blasted, Mojo and Shopping and F**king are much more than a collection of shock tactics - taken together, they represent a consistent critique of modern life, one which focuses on the problem of violence, the crisis of masculinity and the futility of consumerism. The book contains extensive interviews with playwrights, including Sarah Kane (Blasted), Mark Ravenhill (Shopping and F**king), Philip Ridley (The Pitchfork Disney), Patrick Marber (Closer) and Martin McDonagh (The Beauty Queen of Leenane).

The Institution of International Order

From the League of Nations to the United Nations

Author: Simon Jackson,Alanna O'Malley

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351608762

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 4563

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This volume delivers a history of internationalism at the League of Nations and the United Nations (UN), with a focus on the period from the 1920s to the 1970s, when the nation-state ascended to global hegemony as a political formation. Combining global, regional and local scaes of analysis, the essays presented here provide an interpretation of the two institutions — and their complex interrelationship — that is planetary in scale but also pioneeringly multi-local. Our central argument is that although the League and the UN shaped internationalism from the centre, they were themselves moulded just as powerfully by internationalisms that welled up globally, far beyond Geneva and New York City. The contributions are organised into three broad thematic sections, the first focused on the production of norms, the second on the development of expertise and the third on the global re-ordering of empire. By showing how the ruptures and continuities between the two international organisations have shaped the content and format of what we now refer to as ‘global governance’, the collection determinedly sets the Cold War and the emergence of the Third World into a single analytical frame alongside the crisis of empire after World War One and the geopolitics of the Great Depression. Each of these essays reveals how the League of Nations and the United Nations provided a global platform for formalising and proliferating political ideas and how the two institutions generated new spectrums of negotiation and dissidence and re-codified norms. As an ensemble, the book shows how the League of Nations and the United Nations constructed and progressively re-fashioned the basic building blocks of international society right across the twentieth century. Developing the new international history’s view of the League and UN as dynamic, complex forces, the book demonstrates that both organisations should be understood to have played an active role, not just in mediating a world of empires and then one of nation-states, but in forging the many principles and tenets by which international society is structured.