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1956 and All That: The Making of Modern British Drama by Dan Rebellato

By Dan Rebellato

It truly is acknowledged that British Drama used to be shockingly lifted out of the doldrums via the 'revolutionary' visual appeal of John Osborne's glance again in Anger on the Royal courtroom in could 1956. yet had the theatre been as ephemeral and effeminate because the indignant younger males claimed? was once the period of Terence Rattigan and 'Binkie' Beaumont as repressed and closeted because it turns out? during this daring and interesting problem to the acquired knowledge of the final 40 years of theatrical heritage, Dan Rebellato uncovers a special tale altogether. it's one the place Britain's declining Empire and lengthening panic over the 'problem' of homosexuality performed a vital position within the building of a permanent fable of the theatre. via going again to fundamental resources and conscientiously wondering all assumptions, Rebellato has rewritten the historical past of the Making of recent British Drama.

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The withdrawal of the Pilgrim Trust was a nail in the amateurs’ coffin. It soon became clear that CEMA was likely to grow, and that its work might even continue after the war. The scale of the undertaking would soon be beyond the Trust’s resources, and they would have to back out of the deal. This meant the departure of Thomas Jones and Lord Macmillan, who were both on the Council as Pilgrim Trust representatives. A new Chair needed to be found 42 THE DOCILE BODIES OF ARTS FUNDING and Rab Butler, at the Board of Education, favoured Keynes.

The result of this is the vision of an ideally reunified intention and expression disappears over the horizon. The image of the ‘organic society’ is revealed, once again, as a fantasy, but Williams’s division between source and agent is also untenable, since intention and expression are always internally divided against themselves. Furthermore, the New Wave project of trying to revitalise British drama by removing those forces which had compromised expression must be considered very doubtful, as to do so would be to exile all signification, and with it all meaning and communication, from the theatre.

94). Alison realises, albeit through a crudely literal analogy, the full force of her own ‘inner death’. This is why many of these plays are characterised by a call for a retreat into the self. The individual is the site that marks the opposing tensions of public affluence and private cultural decline. Tony, in Each His Own Wilderness, says ‘the whole world is getting massproduced and organized. But inside everybody’s varnished and painted skin is a tramp […] Every morning in front of the bathroom mirror we polish our teeth and our hair and our skin […] But inside, we’ve emigrated.

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