By Dan Rebellato
It really is acknowledged that British Drama was once shockingly lifted out of the doldrums by means of the 'revolutionary' visual appeal of John Osborne's glance again in Anger on the Royal court docket in may perhaps 1956. yet had the theatre been as ephemeral and effeminate because the offended younger males claimed? was once the period of Terence Rattigan and 'Binkie' Beaumont as repressed and closeted because it turns out? during this daring and engaging problem to the acquired 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 extending panic over the 'problem' of homosexuality performed a very important function within the development of a permanent fable of the theatre. by way of going again to fundamental assets and carefully wondering all assumptions, Rebellato has rewritten the historical past of the Making of contemporary British Drama.
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Additional info for 1956 and All That: The Making of Modern British Drama
Leventhal has argued that these aims are incompatible with those of helping amateurs and spreading cultural provision (1990, 295). But is this true? The example of the Music Travellers indicates that it need not be: professionals can be employed to help amateurs. He also argues that spreading professionals around the country might 41 1956 AND ALL THAT prohibit the production of large-scale works (296), the implication being that this may defeat the aim of raising standards. But there is no necessary reason to suppose that only large-scale works can inspire the best efforts of theatre or music workers.
Fantasising a historical sociology around Eliot’s thesis, Leavis and Thompson imagine a time when word, thought, feeling and the body worked in harmony with each other and with their environment (86–91). For Leavis, this organic society is an ideal state, now lost, the only present traces of which may be found in literature (82). As Anne Samson puts it, ‘literature is not so much evidence of a past culture as a part of that culture itself, embodying its values and a whole way of life’ (1992, 40).
He sees a hedge and is coaxed into describing it as ‘thin pieces of wood. Going all over the place. With bumps on them, and thin slips of green like paper, and some funny soft stuff on them’ (1964, 196). Having repeated this exercise with other features of the landscape, he is rewarded by Ada: ‘Now you are a real human being Daniel who can look and think and talk’ (197). This explains Williams’s apocalyptic tone. The collapse of a common culture does not only threaten the literary culture, but our very means of communication, our humanity, indeed life itself.
1956 and All That: The Making of Modern British Drama by Dan Rebellato