British Realist Theatre: The New Wave in its Context by Stephen Lacey

By Stephen Lacey

The British `New Wave' of dramatists, actors and administrators within the overdue Fifties and Sixties created a defining second in post-war theatre. British Realist Theatre is an obtainable advent to the hot Wave, offering the historic and cultural history that's crucial for a real realizing of this influential and dynamic era.
Drawing upon modern assets in addition to the performs themselves, Stephen Lacey considers the performs' affects, their influence and their severe receptions. The playwrights mentioned include:
* Edward Bond
* John Osborne
* Shelagh Delaney * Harold Pinter

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Additional info for British Realist Theatre: The New Wave in its Context 1956-1965

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Cooper has sought to generalise the anti-women rhetoric of midfifties intellectuals by arguing that their real target was ‘effeminacy’, which is ‘simply the sum of those qualities which are supposed traditionally…to exude from the worst in women: pettiness, snobbery, flippancy, voluptuousness, superficiality, materialism’ (Cooper 1970:257), and these are not peculiar to women. The argument is, however, a little elusive, for the characteristics of effeminacy are so closely aligned to how women were actually represented in the period, that an attempt to prise them apart looks doomed: ‘voluptuousness, superficiality and materialism’ delineate both effeminacy and some of the most common attributes of female characters, especially in New Wave novels and films.

The editors replied by identifying Encore with the concerns of its audiences, who were sceptical of politics, equating commitment with conformity: ‘It [the audience] recognises the need to face up to that old question What are you for? /Feb. 1958). Encore’s concern with radical alternatives to mainstream theatre was focused through the idea of ‘vital theatre’. The magazine’s subtitle for most of its life was ‘The Voice of Vital Theatre’, and the term was a point of reference for many of its contributors in the late fifties.

The activities of working-class sub-cultures, especially the teddyboys, were of particular concern. ‘Deviancy’, a term that originated in sociological discourse and rapidly became popularised, was applied to those aspects of behaviour that were most graphically anti-social, especially ‘new’ forms of crime such as the ripping of cinema seats. It represented a ‘pathologising’ of that behaviour, and had its roots, at one level, in anxieties about the effects of the Second World War, and at another, in the effects of post-war power-blocs, nuclear weaponry and the Cold War.

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