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Introduction: Intangible Commodities

  • Duncan Wu

Abstract

This book grew out of my frustration at the absence of any publication designed to explain to my students the concerns that have preoccupied contemporary British dramatists of the 1980s and early 1990s. In a popular field like television and stage drama, such a gap seems all the more surprising. Millions of viewers watched the broadcast plays discussed in following chapters, but little attempt has been made to elucidate them. Similarly, David Hare’s The Secret Rapture entertained many people when it opened at the National Theatre in London, but its aims are far from transparent, and interpretation seemed to lie beyond the range of most reviewers. Audiences may appreciate some guide to such works, and an indication of their place in each author’s development. As with other literary forms, meanings lie beneath the surface of the text, and sometimes we — as theatregoers, actors, directors, or simply as students of the play — may find it helpful to have these outlined. This volume aims to offer such a guide, and in doing so concentrates on works available to the reader in print.

Keywords

Moral Judgement Labour Party National Theatre Transcendent Idealism Stage Drama 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    These remarkable lines were first published by Jonathan Wordsworth, The Music of Humanity (London: Nelson, 1969), pp. 269–72Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jonathan Wordsworth provides a useful introduction to the millenarian beliefs of the romantics in his Epilogue to William Wordsworth: The Borders of Vision (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tariq Ali and Howard Brenton, Moscow Gold (London: Nick Hern Books, 1990), p. 92.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Potter, interviewed by Alan Yentob, Arena, BBC2. See also his elucidation of this remark, Potter on Potter, ed. Graham Fuller (London: Faber, 1993), p. 86.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Howard Brenton, Diving for Pearls (London: Nick Hern Books, 1989), p. 223.Google Scholar
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  7. 7.
    Forty Years On and Other Plays, p. 177.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
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  9. 9.
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    Alan Bennett, Objects of Affection and Other Plays for Television (London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1982), p. 7.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Potter, interviewed by Alan Yentob, Arena, BBC2.Google Scholar
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    Potter, interviewed by Alan Yentob, Arena, BBC2.Google Scholar
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  25. 25.
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  28. 28.
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  29. 29.
    David Hare, Paris By Night (London: Faber, 1988), p. 71.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Paris By Night, p. 75.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
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  32. 32.
    I have noted Hare’s Wordsworthian tendencies in ‘In the air’. New Statesman and Society (21 June 1991), p. 45.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ayckbourn, interviewed by Duncan Wu, p. 150.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
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  35. 35.
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Copyright information

© Duncan Wu 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duncan Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of English LiteratureUniversity of GlasgowUK

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