Bond Plays: 6: The War Plays; Choruses from After the Assassinations

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Bloomsbury Academic, Feb 5, 1998 - Drama - 420 pages

Plays Six includes some of the most acclaimed work of Edward Bond, one of Britain's greatest living contemporary dramatists, who is widely studied by schools and colleges. The collection includes a commentary by the author.

The collection includes The War Plays and Choruses from After the Assasinations. In The War Plays (Red Black and Ignorant, The Tin Can People, Great Peace): "Bond particularises daunting themes and subjects, but examines them within the context of every day life. His platform is a trilogy of plays that deal with the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. The first, - a quick, telling chronicle of a life destroyed before it ever got lived - puts forth Bond's notions of contemporary cultural corruption and conditioning. In play two the demoralised inheritors of a ravaged earth try to rationalise an existence predicated on death. The third play enlarges the issues by focussing on a post-apocalyptic Mother Courage for whom schizoid suffering becomes a survival technique." (Time Out). In Choruses From After The Assassinations, Bond forecasts questions fifty years into the future, in an age of escalating militarism.
Edward Bond is "a great playwright - many, particularly in continental Europe, would say the greatest living English playwright" (Independent)

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About the author (1998)

Because of its pivotal scene, which involves the stoning to death of a baby by a gang of young toughs in a London park, Edward Bond's first major production, Saved (1965), was banned in its entirety by the Lord Chamberlain. In drawing attention to the plot, the censor drew attention away from the play's techniques. A distracting violence is still the center of Bond's works Early Morning (1968), The Sea ( ), and The Bundle (1978). Bond's violence is not simply an image of evil or crude dramatic shock. It is meant as something to come to terms with intellectually, or even-as in The Bundle-to be agreed to, as the price of effective action. In its obviousness, Bond's brutality challenges the audience to acknowledge its own hidden, structural ruthlessness. The playwright's ideas, however, often seem inadequately worked out and inadequately expressed in prefaces that share nothing of the vivacity and clarity of those of George Bernard Shaw. Bond has never lost touch with an impressive stiff poetry of the stage, which is most evident in Bingo, about Shakespeare's last days, and The Fool (1976), about the madness of the poet John Clare. Among Bond's more recent works are The Worlds (1979), and a trilogy, The War Plays (1985).

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