John Mcgrath - Plays For England
By John McGrath Introduction by Nadine Holdsworth
This is an edition of nine of McGrath's plays for the English 7:84 theatre company. It covers McGrath's work for the company spanning four decades, from the 1960s through to the 1990s
The book has a substantial contextualising introduction and commentary on the plays by Nadine Holdsworth, one of the leading specialists in the work of John McGrath. This is set alongside supporting documents such as programme notes, reviews, letters etc.
The plays and theatre work of John McGrath are studied in many theatre departments but they have not been available to the reader. The English plays constitute a powerful influence on the theatre in general, and are included in all theatre histories of the period; this collection should make them available to students, audiences and the public at large with an interest in theatre and in the social issues of their periods.
List of Illustrations, vii; Acknowledgements, viii; Foreword by Michael Billington, ix; Introduction; John McGrath's early career: 1958-70, 2; The Liverpool Everyman: 1971-72, 6; 7:84 Theatre Company: 1971-73, 18; 7:84 England Theatre Company: 1973-75, 26; 7:84 England Theatre Company in decline: 1976-79, 40; Responding to Thatcherism: 1980-85, 46; Watching for Dolphins in the 1990s, 56; Notes, 64; Bibliography and Further Reading, 68; The Plays; They've Got Out (1961), 73; Unruly Elements/Plugged In (1971), 76; Angel of the Morning, 77; Plugged in to History, 92; They're Knocking Down the Pie Shop, 104; Trees in the Wind (1971), 114; Fish in the Sea (1975), 156; Lay Off (1975), 236; Rejoice! (1982), 284; Watching for Dolphins (1992), 325.
“No one since Joan Littlewood did more to advance the cause of popular theatre in Britain than John McGrath . . . He believed strongly that the function of art was to reach as many people as possible, to heighten individual awareness and to help change society for the better." “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, vol. 31, no. 2, 2006) NB: ‘both volumes’ refers to both ‘Freedom’s Pioneer’ and ‘Plays for England’)
The late John McGrath made his name as a playwright and television writer and director, founding the 7:84 Theatre Companies, as well as the hit TV series Z-Cars. He wrote over 50 plays for theatre and numerous feature film screenplays, and ran his own film production company, Freeway Films. He was Visiting Fellow in Theatre at Cambridge University, and Visiting Professor in Media Studies at Royal Holloway College. Nadine Holdsworth is Lecturer in Theatre Studies at Warwick University. She is the editor of John McGrath's Naked Thoughts that Roam About: Reflections on Theatre, (Nick Hern Books, 2002). Her research specialises in post-war British drama, cultural policy, popular performance, and the intersections of these with class, gender, and race She has been at Warwick since January 2000. She studied Drama (BA Hons) at the University of Loughborough between 1987 and 1990. Her doctorate on '7:84 England: Performance and Ideological Transaction', also completed at Loughborough, was awarded in 1995.
Exeter Performance Studies
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- The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 3 - Volume Three: The Fifties
- The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 4 - The Sixties
- Critical Essays on British South Asian Theatre
- Eighteenth-Century Brechtians - Theatrical Satire in the Age of Walpole
- Forms of Conflict - Contemporary Wars on the British Stage
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- On Actors And Acting
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- Theatre Workshop
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