Diaries, Letters and Essays

Plays

Brecht On Art And Politics

Bloomsbury Publishing

This volume contains new translations to extend our image of one of the twentieth century’s most entertaining and thought provoking writers on culture, aesthetics and politics. Here are a cross-section of Brecht’s wide-ranging thoughts which offer us an extraordinary window onto the concerns of a modern world in four decades of economic and political disorder. The book is designed to give wider access to the experience of a dynamic intellect, radically engaged with social, political and cultural processes. Each section begins with a short essay by the editors introducing and summarising Brecht’s thought in the relevant year.

Brecht On Film & Radio

Bloomsbury Publishing

From Weimar Germany to Hollywood to East Berlin, Brecht on Film and Radio gathers together a selection of Bertolt Brecht's own writings on the new film and broadcast media that revolutionised arts and communication in the twentieth century.Bertolt Brecht's hugely influential views on drama, acting and stage production have long been widely recognised. Less familiar, but of profound importance, are his writings on film and radio. From Weimar Germany to Hollywood to East Berlin, Brecht on Film and Radio gathers together for the first time a selection of Brecht's own writings on the new film and broadcast media that fascinated him throughout his life and revolutionised arts and communication in the twentieth century. Marc Silberman's full editorial commentary sets Brecht's ideas in the context of his other work.

"I strongly wish that after their invention of the radio the bourgeoisie would make a further invention that enables us to fix for all time what the radio communicates. Later generations would then have the opportunity to marvel how a caste was able to tell the whole planet what it had to say and at the same time how it enabled the planet to see that it had nothing to say." (Bertolt Brecht)

The Hidden Plot

Bloomsbury Publishing

'The disasters of the last hundred years seem an exaggeration. But history never exaggerates. Wait a little and the unthinkable becomes inevitable.'

This collection of passionate and polemical essays deals with drama from its origin in the human mind to its use in history and the present. It explains the hidden working of drama behind the state, religion, family, crime and war. It is a revolutionary understanding of the human world with drama at its centre. A ruthless critique of the theatre's present state and its trivialisation as entertainment by the media, it reveals and sees a radical new theatre for the future.

Ten Ways of Thinking About Samuel Beckett

Bloomsbury Publishing

Beckett is acknowledged as one of the greatest playwrights and most innovative fiction writers of the twentieth century with an international appeal that bridges both general and more specialist readers. This collection of essays by renowned Beckett scholar Enoch Brater offers a delightfully original, playful and intriguing series of approaches to Beckett's drama, fiction and poetry.

Beginning with a chapter entitled 'Things to Ponder While Waiting for Godot', each essay deftly illuminates aspects of Beckett's thinking and craft, making astute and often surprising discoveries along the way. In a series of beguiling discussions such as 'From Dada to Didi: Beckett and the Art of His Century', 'Beckett's Devious Interventions, or Fun with Cube Roots' and 'The Seated Figure on Beckett's Stage', Brater proves the perfect companion and commentator on Beckett's work, helping readers to approach it with fresh eyes and a renewed sense of the author's unique aesthetic.

'An eloquent, witty and erudite collection of essays that illuminates Beckett's drama and prose fiction from a number of complementary perspectives. Brater's precise explication of the interwoven tropes of language and mise-en-scène is combined with a fine grasp of the overarching structure of work ... to create a rich and suggestive series of reflections on Beckett's aesthetics.' - Robert Gordon, Professor of Drama, Goldsmiths, University of London

'Those who are still intimidated by Beckett's reputation should read Enoch Brater's witty, stimulating, brilliantly discursive reflections on his work. They'll end up finding both the writer and the critic far more entertaining than they dared suspect.' Benedict Nightingale

'An eloquent, witty and erudite collection of essays that illuminates Beckett's drama and prose fiction from a number of complementary perspectives. Brater's precise explication of the interwoven tropes of language and mise-en-scène is combined with a fine grasp of the overarching structure of work in various genres and media to create a rich and suggestive series of reflections on Beckett's aesthetics.' Robert Gordon, Professor of Drama and Director of the Pinter Centre for Performance and Creative Writing, Goldsmiths, University of London

'Some students find Beckett intimidating, but Enoch Brater's essays are anything but. Ten Ways of Thinking About Samuel Beckett is both witty and approachable...There is a great deal of intelligent analysis here to enlighten anyone working on Beckett, and none of it is too abstruse.' The Stage, June 2011

A series of meditations, a return to first principles and a pushing forward into new syntheses, new ways of thinking, particularly about the art of Samuel Beckett. It is, thus, both a book for beginners, since one always returns to first principles, and one for seasoned readers of Beckett, who are rewarded by those frequent references and allusions to Beckett's work that draw knowing nods from the cognoscenti...One can only hope that such musings, such “speaking correctly,” such deliberations on Beckett as the current book displays, are not a valediction. Modern Drama

Victorian Theatricals

Bloomsbury Publishing

By the 1890s the British theatre had transformed itself into a world where spectacles and public shows were aimed at the widest audience possible. The theatre had become big business. This anthology brings together a variety of plays and prose which sets this phenomenon in perspective and traces the development of Victorian theatricals from private home events in the late-Georgian period to full-scale Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in the 1890s. The section 'Theatrical Behaviour' looks at the world of the audience and includes extracts from Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park; Thackeray's Vanity Fair; an anonymous playlet called Acting Proverbs; and an extract from Marie Corelli's novel Sorrows of Satan. In 'Fun and Freaks' we explore the world of popular, sensationalist entertainment through the eyes of Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Dion Boucicault and others. In the final section, 'Society', we have the scripts for four principal melodramas and serious plays of the age: The Factory Lad by John Walker; Society by T.W. Robertson; The Mikado by W.S. Gilbert and The Second Mrs Tanqueray by Arthur Wing Pinero.

The Methuen Drama Diaries, Letters and Essays series provides an exciting range of primary source material documenting the work and writings of some of theatre’s most distinguished practitioners.