1956 and All That: The Making of Modern British Drama by Dan Rebellato

By Dan Rebellato

It really is acknowledged that British Drama used to be shockingly lifted out of the doldrums through the 'revolutionary' visual appeal of John Osborne's glance again in Anger on the Royal courtroom in might 1956. yet had the theatre been as ephemeral and effeminate because the indignant younger males claimed? used to be the period of Terence Rattigan and 'Binkie' Beaumont as repressed and closeted because it turns out? during this daring and engaging problem to the obtained knowledge of the final 40 years of theatrical heritage, Dan Rebellato uncovers a unique tale altogether. it truly is one the place Britain's declining Empire and lengthening panic over the 'problem' of homosexuality performed a very important function within the development of an everlasting delusion of the theatre. by means of going again to fundamental assets and conscientiously wondering all assumptions, Rebellato has rewritten the background of the Making of recent British Drama.

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In Hungary, a student demonstration was fired on by Soviet-backed troops; as the situation became revolutionary, Soviet tanks entered Budapest and the uprising was brutally suppressed. As Mervyn Jones, a journalist on the Daily Worker, recalls, this brought to a head ‘all the political and moral questions that had presented themselves so unavoidably since the death of Stalin’ (1976, 70). And Eden’s simultaneous military intervention in Egypt over Nasser’s nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company was a double blow.

Excellence, like standards, is a weasel word, which can mean many things, depending who uses it. Charles Landstone, the Assistant Drama Director for CEMA from November 1942, argues that Keynes ‘loved glamour, he loved success’ (1953, 67), and that his priorities for the theatre were not therefore with amateur work, nor indeed with tours to industrial towns. The withdrawal of the Pilgrim Trust was a nail in the amateurs’ coffin. It soon became clear that CEMA was likely to grow, and that its work might even continue after the war.

He says instead that we need to discriminate good and bad uses of mass communication. The basis on which he founds this distinction is ‘the intention of the speaker or writer’ (303). He distinguishes two kinds of speakers within mass communication, the ‘source’ —who is immediately responsible for the matter being communicated (303)—and the ‘agent’, ‘whose characteristic is that his [sic] expression is subordinated to an undeclared intention’ (304), as in the case of a journalist whose editorial stance has been urged on him or her by a newspaper proprietor.

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