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Radical Stages
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Table of Contents

Introduction Historical Drama Presenting the Past Private and Public Wesker's Social Realism The Documentary John Arden and the Epic Freedom and Good Order A Usable History Chronicles and Disillusionment Edward Bond's Historical Allegories The Woman's Place Fact Plus Fiction Equals "Faction" Afterword Bibiliography Index

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The study analyzes how the revolutionary and social movements of the period, including the women's movement, are reflected in its historical drama and speculates on the future of British historical drama.

About the Author

D. KEITH PEACOCK is Lecturer in the Department of Drama at the University of Hull, England, where he specializes in modern British theatre. He has published numerous articles in major scholarly journals, including Modern Drama and Theatre Research International, and contributed to important reference books and essay collections on the subject, including the International Dictionary of the Theatre.

Reviews

"This is a well-researched, intelligently presented account of historical/political drama in Britain since 1956, when John Osborne's Look Back in Anger brought a new idiom and emphasis to the London stage. Part 1, concerned with such drama through 1968 (when New Left activity increased and stage censorship relaxed), documents a range of antiestablishment political positions, with special attention paid to Arnold Wesker's plays of social realism, Joan Littlewood's documentary drama, and John Arden's epic. Part 2 traces the evolution of historical drama from the utopian socialism or anarchism of the 1960s through the more radical revolutionary socialism of the 1970s and 1980s, with such playwrights as David Edgar, Howard Brenton, David Hare, and, especially, Edward Bond figuring prominently in the discourse. The chapter "The Woman's Place," with mention of the work of Pam Gems, Caryl Churchill, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and others, connects feminism and politics in a delayed but important development. Peacock's analysis is informed throughout by the assumption that history plays, in accounting the past, always refract the present. This highly informative and thoughtful book is recommended for all libraries."-Choice ?This is a well-researched, intelligently presented account of historical/political drama in Britain since 1956, when John Osborne's Look Back in Anger brought a new idiom and emphasis to the London stage. Part 1, concerned with such drama through 1968 (when New Left activity increased and stage censorship relaxed), documents a range of antiestablishment political positions, with special attention paid to Arnold Wesker's plays of social realism, Joan Littlewood's documentary drama, and John Arden's epic. Part 2 traces the evolution of historical drama from the utopian socialism or anarchism of the 1960s through the more radical revolutionary socialism of the 1970s and 1980s, with such playwrights as David Edgar, Howard Brenton, David Hare, and, especially, Edward Bond figuring prominently in the discourse. The chapter "The Woman's Place," with mention of the work of Pam Gems, Caryl Churchill, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and others, connects feminism and politics in a delayed but important development. Peacock's analysis is informed throughout by the assumption that history plays, in accounting the past, always refract the present. This highly informative and thoughtful book is recommended for all libraries.?-Choice

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