Other Theatres pp 162-174 | Cite as

Political Theatre in Britain Since the 1960s

  • Andrew Davies
Chapter
Part of the Communications and Culture book series

Abstract

A major thrust behind political theatre in Britain has always been against the ‘apolitical’ or ‘Establishment’ tone of the plays presented in the West End. The drawing-room settings automatically excluded portrayals of members of the working class except as domestic servants, and the talk which took place within these rooms steered clear of political controversies — a policy induced by both the Lord Chamberlain and his Examiner of Plays, and by the self-censorship of managers who took care not to offend their clientele.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Henry Pelling, A History of British Trade Unionism (London: Penguin, 1976) p. 296.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Catherine Itzin, Stages in the Revolution (London: Eyre Methuen, 1980) p. 12.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Richard Seyd, ‘The Theatre of Red Ladder’, in New Edinburgh Review, no. 30 (August 1975) p. 36.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chris Rawlence, ‘Political Theatre and the Working Class’, in C. Gardner (ed.), Media, Politics and Culture (London: Macmillan, 1979) p. 65.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    ‘Red Ladder Now’ in New Theatre Magazine, vol. XII, no. 3, pp. 23–9.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Itzin, op. cit., p. 43.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Interview with David Edgar in Theatre Quarterly, vol. IX, no. 33 (Spring 1979), p. 7.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rawlence, op. cit., p. 66.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    David Edgar, ‘Political Theatre’, in Socialist Review, no. 2 (May 1978) p. 37.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Anon, ‘Grant Aid and Political Theatre 1968–77, Part 1’, in Wedge, no. 1 (Summer 1977) p. 6.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Red Ladder, Taking Our Time (London: Pluto, 1979) xiii.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    T. Ilott, ‘Tact Together’, in The Leveller no. 22 January 1979, p. 26.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rawlence, op. cit., p. 70.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Quoted in Peter Ansorge, ‘The Portable Playwrights’, in Plays and Players (February 1972) p. 20.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    John Lahr, ‘Living Theatre in Shadow Life’ in New Society (16 August 1979) pp. 356–7; interview withGoogle Scholar
  16. Edward Bond in Theatre Quarterly, vol. II, no. 5 (January–March 1972) p. 12.Google Scholar
  17. 16.
    John McGrath, A Good Night Out (London: Eyre Methuen, 1981) p. 125.Google Scholar
  18. 17.
    Seyd, op. cit., p. 42.Google Scholar
  19. 18.
    Michelene Wandor, ‘Free Collective Bargaining’, in Time Out 30 March–4 April 1979) pp. 14–16.Google Scholar
  20. 19.
    John McGrath, ‘Boom. An Introduction’ in New Edinburgh Review, no. 30 (August 1975) p. 10.Google Scholar
  21. 20.
    Catherine Itzin (ed.), Alternative Theatre Handbook 1975–1976 (London: Theatre Quarterly Publications, 1976) pp. 2–3.Google Scholar
  22. 21.
    Steve Gooch, ‘The Commitment to Socialist Theatre’ in Workers and Writers (publication of papers from conference held at Birmingham University, October 1975) p. 78.Google Scholar
  23. 22.
    Production Casebook of ‘Trees in the Wind’ at Northcott Theatre, Exeter, in Theatre Quarterly vol. v, no. 19 (September–November) p. 100.Google Scholar
  24. 23.
    Quoted in Cecil Davies, Theatre for the People: the Story of the Volksbughne (Manchester University Press, 1977) p. 5.Google Scholar
  25. 24.
    John McGrath, ‘The Year of the Cheviot’, in Plays and Players (February 1974), p. 24.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Andrew Davies 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Davies

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations