Tuesday, August 29, 2006

British Drama, 1970s

"Many of the figures who came to dominate British drama and theatre in the 1970s and 80s first emerged in the 1960s and, while it is true that the 1950s generation showed the way, they did not enjoy the long-lasting success of writers like 'intellectual gymnast' Tom Stoppard - whose Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead was an overnight sensation in 1966 - or the more populist Alan Ayckbourn, who scored his first West End hit with Relatively Speaking in 1967."

From "Fifty Years of British Theatre", by Tom Phillips in Contemporary Review

Edward Bond and Joe Orton's plays also had many productions in the 70s. Bond helped to break down theatrical censorship in the late sixties with his play Saved, which features infanticide.

"In 1968 a new British musical style first saw the light of day with Lloyd Webber and Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The show made some impact but it was not until Superstar in 1970 that the new wave of British musicals began to make an impact internationally. This was followed by Evita (much less successful) in 1976."

From "A Thousand Years of British Theatre History" by Peter Lathan

No Sex Please, We're British by Foot and Marriott was a hit in 1971 and had an extended run. It was part of an emerging line of British farce that often dealt with sexual innuendo and situations. Other examples include:
# Michael Pertwee: Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! (1971)
# Alan Ayckbourn: Bedroom Farce (1975)
# John Cleese: Fawlty Towers (1975) (Television show)
# John Chapman & Anthony Marriott: Shut Your Eyes and Think of England (1977)


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