Plays and Playwrights


File On Wilde

Bloomsbury Publishing

Writer Files is an important series documenting the work of major dramatists of the last hundred years

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1856. In the years following his graduation from Oxford in 1878 he published poems and stories which included The Picture of Dorian Gray. Lady Windermere's Fan was produced in 1892, A Woman of No Importance in 1893 and An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895. Later work included De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He died in 1900.Each volume contains a comprehensive checklist of all the writer's plays, with a detailed performance history, excerpted reviews and a selection of the writers' own comments on their work.

Guide To Greek Theatre And Drama

Bloomsbury Publishing

Athens in the fifth century BC produced a remarkable flowering of playwrights: Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in tragedy, Aristophanes and, in the fourth century, Menander in comedy. They laid the foundations for all Western drama and continue to speak as powerfully after 2,500 years.

Kenneth McLeish's authoritative and enthusiastic Guide to Greek Theatre and Drama is full of his enjoyment and understanding of the plays. It provides an extensive introduction to Athenian theatre, the form of the plays and, as far as can be established, how the plays were performed. Then follows a background section on each playwright, a synopsis and commentary for each of the surviving plays and an outline of Aristotle's theories on drama. The result is an indispensable companion for anyone interested in Greek theatre. The volume was completed by Professor Trevor R. Griffiths.

A Guide To The Plays Of Bertolt Brecht

Bloomsbury Publishing

Bertolt Brecht was a colossus amongst twentieth-century writers. His work as a director, his critical and theoretical writings, and above all the remarkable plays that emerged from one of the most turbulent periods in history have had a profound and lasting influence on theatre.

Stephen Unwin's A Guide to the Plays of Bertolt Brecht is an indispensable, comprehensive and highly readable companion to the work of this challenging and rewarding writer.

Rage And Reason

Bloomsbury Publishing

Women playwrights speak about their art and the theatre in this collection of interviews about a key decade of British drama.

Twenty leading contemporary dramatists discuss their work from the perspective of being both writers and women. Each talks about the state of the theatre now, the craft of playwrighting, and the pressures of working within a male dominated environment. The book also features Sarah Kane's very last public interview. 'What I think is so exciting about the response to a number of the plays written by women in the last ten years is that they are popular with audiences - because they've got this quality, this energy and this culture that hasn't been seen much on stage before: a humour, sexiness and wit that's been missing' - Charlotte Keatley

Rewriting the Nation

Bloomsbury Publishing

This is an essential guide for anyone interested in the best new British stage plays to emerge in the new millennium. For students of theatre studies and theatre-goers Rewriting the Nation: British Theatre Today is a perfect companion to Britain's burgeoning theatre writing scene. It explores the context from which new plays have emerged and charts the way that playwrights have responded to the key concerns of the decade and helped shape our sense of who we are.

In recent years British theatre has seen a renaissance in playwriting accompanied by a proliferation of writing awards and new writing groups. The book provides an in-depth exploration of the industry and of the key plays and playwrights. It opens by defining what is meant by 'new writing' and providing a study of the leading theatres, such as the Royal Court, the Traverse, the Bush, the Hampstead and the National theatres, together with the London fringe and the work of touring companies.

In the second part, Sierz provides a fascinating survey of the main issues that have characterised new plays in the first decade of the new century, such as foreign policy and war overseas, economic boom and bust, divided communities and questions of identity and race. It considers too how playwrights have re-examined domestic issues of family, of love, of growing up, and the fantasies and nightmares of the mind. Against the backdrop of economic, political and social change under New Labour, Sierz shows how British theatre responded to these changes and in doing so has been and remains deeply involved in the project of rewriting the nation.

Sierz's fluent, up-to-date new study is further proof that he is one of British theater's leading critics. André Naffis-Sahely, Times Literary Supplement

As a theatre studies teacher, this book is a relative breath of fresh air and may make you exclaim: 'Yes at last, someone is writing about contemporary plays, playwrights and performances!'...The beauty of this book is that it gives some of the theory behind the shift in the writing: giving us a social, cultural and political context...In order to understand the context behind new writing, this book is a must read! Teaching Drama

Stephen Poliakoff on Stage and Screen

Bloomsbury Publishing

Over four decades, Stephen Poliakoff has proved himself to be a distinctive dramatist in the mediums of theatre, film and television. Moving from playwright to television and film director, he has been hailed as 'TV's foremost writer' (Independent) and as 'one of our most poetic and best TV dramatists' (Daily Telegraph). In the USA, his TV 'films' have received industry acclaim, The Lost Prince winning three Emmy Awards and Gideon's Daughter two Golden Globes.

This book is the first to offer a comprehensive overview of Poliakoff's work for stage and screen and a framework for its critical evaluation. It will prove invaluable to students of theatre, film, and television studies. Robin Nelson locates Poliakoff's distinctive vision and fierce independence as a writer and director in both personal and public histories and against industry contexts. He charts Poliakoff's 'meteoric rise' as a playwright, and his 'second starburst' in television drama since Shooting the Past (1999) which re-affirmed his reputation as a dramatist of distinction.

While the chronology of Poliakoff's impressive output is clearly laid out, works are discussed in thematic clusters ranging across mediums to afford a fresh perspective. The book covers 'issue dramas', 'quirky strong women' and 'histories/memories' as well as Poliakoff's early developing dramaturgy, and it examines in detail the later feature films and television dramas which have secured his reputation as our most distinctive television dramatist.

Robin Nelson respects his subject and his readers. The outcome is a wonderfully accessible book that makes a convincing case that Poliakoff's 40-year career demands our attention in this media- saturated age. Studies in Theatre and Performance June 2012. Vol 32 Issue 2

Robin Nelson's book on Stephen Poliakoff offers the first comprehensive overview of the work of one of Britain's most prolific dramatic auteurs... Combining insightful and well-contextualized observations about Poliakoff's works with a good deal of historical research, the book should be widely welcomed as the definitive critical guide to Poliakoff. Journal of Screenwriting, February 2012, Vol 3 Issue 2

Plays and Playwrights celebrates the best in classic plays alongside essential works considering groundbreaking playwrights including Euripides, Oscar Wilde, Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, Antonin Artaud and Caryl Churchill.