By Stephen Lacey
The British `New Wave' of dramatists, actors and administrators within the overdue Fifties and Nineteen Sixties created a defining second in post-war theatre. British Realist Theatre is an obtainable creation to the recent Wave, delivering the old and cultural history that's crucial for a real knowing of this influential and dynamic era.
Drawing upon modern resources in addition to the performs themselves, Stephen Lacey considers the performs' affects, their effect and their serious receptions. The playwrights mentioned include:
* Edward Bond
* John Osborne
* Shelagh Delaney * Harold Pinter
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Extra resources for British Realist Theatre: The New Wave in its Context 1956-1965
What this shorthand does is to connect a response to a particular production to much more general concerns about the nature of social change in the post-war world—concerns for which the idea of ‘youth’ and the ‘contemporaryness’ of contemporary experience are important. That these are not entirely ‘new’ concerns is also implied by the ease with which this interpretative framework is applied; Look Back in Anger was the point where these emerging explanations for post-war social change became focused around the theatre for the first time in the decade, placing the play at the centre of a distinctive socio-cultural moment.
Like Anger, the idea of Youth was itself an ideological construct, an essential part of the mythology of affluence, and the link between the Angry Young Men and youth described more than just a coincidence of age. Youth appeared as one of the most striking and visible manifestations of social change in the 1950s, ‘the compressed imagery for a society which had crucially changed in terms of basic life-styles and values— changed in ways calculated to upset the official political framework, but in ways not yet calculable in traditional political terms’ (Hall and 25 REPRESENTING CONTEMPORARY BRITAIN Jefferson 1976:9).
In a broader usage, the term also referred to a larger group of intellectuals and radicals, based mainly in the universities and adult education. The main project of the New Left was to forge a radical socialism that was distinct from that offered either by the left-wing of the Labour Party, irretrievably locked into Labourism and the consensus, or by the Communist Party, wedded to Stalinism and Moscow. Many of the key figures supporting and contributing to the New Reasoner were intellectuals who were amongst the 7,000 members who deserted the Communist Party in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Hungary (the Party had supported the Soviet action).