By Duncan Wu
`A so much illuminating study.' - John Bayley Six modern Dramatists explores, in an easy demeanour, the crucial matters of six of an important modern dramatists. It demonstrates how the paintings of Alan Bennett, Dennis Potter, Simon grey, Howard Brenton, David Hare and Alan Ayckbourn is largely ethical, and relates their aspirations to the British romantic culture of the final century. whilst, Duncan Wu explores how each one author has spoke back to the alterations that came about in own and public ethics in the course of the Eighties due to Thatcherism. He additionally comprises an interview with Alan Ayckbourn, released right here for the 1st time, within which the volume's subject matters are concentrated and summarised. For the paperback variation, a considerable preface discussing Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, David Hare's Skylight and David Edgar's Pentecost has been extra. this can be an important and readable consultant to televised and theatrical drama for college students and theatregoers alike.
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Additional resources for Six Contemporary Dramatists: Bennett, Potter, Gray, Brenton, Hare, Ayckbourn
As he discovers, success is illness. But his real problem is a detachment from ethical standards: But you see, ladies, please believe me, you must believe me, please, when I say ... (Stares towards them) that I still don't know what the truth is. No, I don't. (Shakes his head) That's still my problem. That I've had the experience, you see. But as the poet, some poet, famous poet, said, had the experience but missed the meaning. 1s To make moral points with such certainty you have to believe, as Gray does, in absolutes; and perhaps more so than any other writer discussed here, he employs romantically-derived images and ideas as his points of reference.
But suppose our lungs were not internal organs. Suppose they were not locked away in the chest. Suppose we carried our lungs outside our bodies, bore them before us, could Alan Bennett: Anarchists of the Spirit 29 hold and handle them, cradle them in our arms. And suppose further they were not made of flesh but of glass, or something like glass, not yet invented, something pliable. And thus the effect of each breath could be seen, the deposit of each intake of air, calculated, weighed even. What would we say then, as we saw the dust accumulate, the passages clog, the galleries close down, as cell by cell these lungs hardened, withered, died ....
Lear's only understanding at the end of his life lies in the need for love - a love which is removed from him, and thus forms the substance of his tragedy. Brenton and Hare have both learned from Shakespeare's handling of death. 's The event has been anticipated for a long time, and is far less interesting than the passion which it brings to an end. The more complex implications for Hare's The Secret Rapture are discussed, pp. 108-9, below. Influence is not always straightforward. But the writers discussed here have either adopted Shakespearean concepts of tragedy, or redefined them for their own purposes.
Six Contemporary Dramatists: Bennett, Potter, Gray, Brenton, Hare, Ayckbourn by Duncan Wu