By James Acheson
The fifteen essays during this assortment, released right here for the 1st time, survey the paintings of a few of the main British and Irish dramatists given that 1960. integrated are 4 dramatists - Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Peter Shaffer and Peter Nichols - who started writing performs prior to 1960, and whose paintings considering then has persisted to improve apparently. many of the dramatists thought of right here, even if, are those that have all started writing extra lately, and who illustrate many of the particular features of British and Irish drama of our time.
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Additional info for British and Irish Drama since 1960
Page numbers will be given in the text, preceded by PI, PII, Pill or PIV. Fora list of interviews, see Stephen Grecco, 'Harold Pinter', in British Dramatists Since World War II, ed. Stanley Weintraub (Detroit: Gale, 1982), Part 2, p. 413 (Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 13). See Harold Pinter, 'Beckett', in Beckett at 60: a Festschrift (London: Calder & Boyars, 1967) p. 86. The Proust Screenplay (New York: Grove Press, 1978; London: Eyre Methuen/Chatto & Windus, 1978); A Kind of A"laslm (London: Methuen, 1982).
Only the literary genius has this power to so alter our perception of the world, and Pinter is probably a genius. I say 'probably', not out of Pinteresque foot-shuffling, but because Pinter and the Pinteresque 29 he is very much alive and so the jury is still out. There are a number of indications that he may be. For one thing, he is not an academic, even less a product of university creative writing courses, but someone whose degrees are all honorary. 32 So I come back to the 'Vivien Merchant factor'.
1 While such playwrights as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, and David Storey explored the dramatic eloquence of the unspoken and understated (and perfected its theatrical potential), Shaffer created characters who speak with rhetorical flourish, articulating their concerns through frequently poetic images in soliloquies that are as emotionally intense and dramatically effective as any on the modem stage. Yet, in an age when theatrical discourse has often been dominated by angry outbursts of class-based frustration with the here-and-now, by anti-capitalist agitprop, and by various milder forms of social protest, Shaffer's plays avoid such topical sociopolitical commentary.
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