The Revival of Medieval Forms in Recent Political Drama

  • Elisabeth Angel-Perez


The Berliner Ensemble’s visit to Britain in 1956 probably brought forward the biggest scenic revolution of the twentieth century. A new conception of the theatre swept the English stage. It was based on the rejection of naturalism as well as on the necessity to encompass the whole of a collectivity, instead of just a privileged minority. This visit of paramount importance invited theatre to ponder over a new definition of its own domain.


Political Theatre Mainstream Theatre Street Player Political Drama Nativity Play 
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  1. 3.
    David Edgar, Entertaining Strangers, 2nd edn (London: Methuen, 1988).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Ann Jellicoe’s The Reckoning (1977) was set in a school playground. The action was set on ‘three raised areas of scaffoldings for seats and three small raised stages. About a third of the audience sat, the rest promenaded with the action taking place among them.’ Ann Jellicoe, preface to David Edgar, Entertaining Strangers (London: Methuen, 1986).Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    David Edgar, Plays: One (London: Methuen, 1987) p. 231Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    David Edgar, Entertaining Strangers, 2nd edn (London: Methuen, 1988) p. 1Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    Beautiful gilded masks for beauty and bounty, painted masks with spots for sin: see Meg Twycross and Sarah Carpenter, ‘Masks in the Medieval Theatre’ in Medieval English Theatre, 1, III (1981). pp. 29–36.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    See Fernand Braudel, Civilisation matérielle, Economie et Capitalisme 15ème et 18ème siècles, Tome 2: ‘Les Jeux de l’échange’ (Paris: Armand Colin, 1979).Google Scholar
  7. 17.
    In Bernard Dukore, The Theatre of Peter Barnes (London: Heinemann Educational, 1981) p. 39Google Scholar
  8. 18.
    Lou Lappin, The Art and Politics of Edward Bond (New York: Peter Lang, 1987), p. 74.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Angel-Perez

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