John McGrath's Work in Theatre, Film and Television
Edited by David Bradby and Susanna Capon
John McGrath's plays are compulsory reading and viewing for students of drama, film and television courses in many University and Further Education departments and yet despite recognition of the central importance of McGrath's work, very little has been written about him. This is the first full-length study of his work.
This book illuminates the importance of John McGrath's role in the development of theatre, film and television in the last four decades of the twentieth century. Through play and script-writing, through directing, producing and co-ordinating work, and through his critical, political and philosophical reflections, McGrath exerted a powerful influence over developments and innovations in all three art forms.
The contributors include film and television directors, actors, designers, writers, university researchers and journalists, many of whom worked with McGrath. Questions of day-to-day working practice are addressed alongside broader political and aesthetic concerns, and the question of McGrath's relationship to and influence on the arts in Scotland receives careful consideration.
List of Illustrations, vii; Notes on Contributors, ix; Acknowledgements, xii; Foreword by Richard Eyre, xiii; Introduction by David Bradby and Susanna Capon, xix; Part One-Culture and the Socialist Vision; 1. Maria DiCenzo-Theatre, Theory and Politics: The Contribution of John McGrath, 3; Part Two-Early Work; 2. Peter Thomson-Get Out and Get On: Events While Guarding the Bofors Gun, 17; 3. Ros Merkin-A Life Outside 7:84: John McGrath and the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, 25; 4. John Bull-'Serjeant Musgrave Dances to a Different Tune': John McGrath's Adaptation of John Arden's Serjeant Musgrave's Dance, 39; 5. Nadine Holdsworth-Finding the Right Places, Finding the Right Audiences: Topicality and Entertainment in the Work of 7:84 England, 55; Part Three-John McGrath and Scotland; 6. Randall Stevenson-Border Warranty: John McGrath and Scotland, 73; 7. Ian Brown-Celtic Centres, the Fringes and John McGrath, 86; 8. Ian Brown-'Bursting through the hoop and dancing on the edge of the seediness': Five Scottish Playwrights Talk about John McGrath, 100; Part Four-Case Studies; 9. Robin Nelson-The Television Adaptation of The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, 115. 10. Stephen Lacey-A Practical Realism: McGrath, Brecht, Lukacs and Blood Red Roses, 130; 11. Robert Dawson Scott-A Good Night In: The Long Roads, 144; 12. Olga Taxidou-Three One-Woman Epics: The Political Performer, 156; Part Five-Working with John; 13. Working with John-Interviews by Susanna Capon, 173; Pamela Howard, 173; Bill Paterson, 177; Troy Kennedy Martin, 185; Jack Gold, 191; John Bett, 196; Jenny Tiramani, 206; Elizabeth MacLennan, 210; Works by John McGrath, 221; Notes, 228; Index, 246.
‘…the editors and publishers are to be congratulated for their rich and eclectic volume that allows academics, journalists, playwrights, actors and singers, designers and producers to coexist, challenge and unsettle each other within a single volume.’ (Theatre Research International: 31.2. 2006) ‘Handsomely produced and illustrated, both volumes are an eloquent monument to one of British twentieth-century theatre’s most important cultural activists.’ (Theatre Research International: 31.2. 2006) NB: ‘both volumes’ refers to both ‘Freedom’s Pioneer’ and ‘Plays for England’)
Susanna Capon is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway. She was previously a producer and director in the television industry and she is Course Director of the first vocational MA in Producing for Film and Television. The late David Bradby was Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies, Royal Holloway, University of London. His published books include Beckett: Waiting for Godot (CUP, 2001), The Theater of Michel Vinaver (Michigan UP, 1993), Modern French Drama 1940-1990 (CUP, 1991) and, with Annie Sparks, Mise en Scène: French Theatre Now(Methuen, 1997).
Freedom's Pioneer - John McGrath's Work in Theatre, Film and Television - Hardback cover
New Titles List
Exeter Performance Studies
- British South Asian Theatres - A Documented History (with accompanying DVD)
- British Theatre And The Red Peril - The Portrayal of Communism 1917-1945
- The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 1 - Volume One 1900-1932
- The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 2 - Volume Two 1933-1952
- The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 3 - Volume Three: The Fifties
- The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 4 - Volume 4 The Sixties
- Critical Essays on British South Asian Theatre
- Freedom's Pioneer - John McGrath's Work in Theatre, Film and Television
- From Mimesis To Interculturalism - Readings of Theatrical Theory Before and After ‘Modernism'
- Grand-Guignol - The French Theatre of Horror
- In Comes I - Performance, Memory and Landscape
- John Mcgrath - Plays For England
- London’s Grand Guignol and the Theatre of Horror -
- Making Theatre in Northern Ireland - Through and Beyond the Troubles
- On Actors And Acting
- Singing Simpkin and other Bawdy Jigs - Musical Comedy on the Shakespearean Stage: Scripts, Music and Context
- Theatre Workshop
- Theatres of the Troubles - Theatre, Resistance and Liberation in Ireland
- Victory Over the Sun - The World's First Futurist Opera