British Theatre Since the War

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Yale University Press, May 14, 2014 - Theater - 280 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

Preface
1904
Consolidates The Royal Court as a Theatre Complex
1911
19451954
1924
HM Tennent Ltd The Lord Chamberlain and Censorship
1948
19551962
1955
The ESC A Mixed Bag of Actors A National
1963
Hobson and Tomorrow The Old Guard Miscalculates
1964
19631967
19691979
More Gains than Losses Political Theatre The
Peter Hall at the National Theatre
Institutions 3 The Problematics of Funding
Notes
Select Bibliography
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Shellard is head of drama at the University of Sheffield.

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