By Dan Rebellato
It really is stated that British Drama was once shockingly lifted out of the doldrums via the 'revolutionary' visual appeal of John Osborne's glance again in Anger on the Royal courtroom in may well 1956. yet had the theatre been as ephemeral and effeminate because the offended 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 acquired knowledge of the final 40 years of theatrical heritage, Dan Rebellato uncovers a distinct tale altogether. it really is one the place Britain's declining Empire and extending panic over the 'problem' of homosexuality performed a vital function within the building of a permanent fable of the theatre. via going again to fundamental assets and conscientiously wondering all assumptions, Rebellato has rewritten the background of the Making of contemporary British Drama.
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Additional resources for 1956 and All That: The Making of Modern British Drama
Since it is largely a product of expanding education and suffrage, we can hardly object to the expansion of the reading public (302). 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.
More fundamentally, 20 THE POLITICS OF VITAL THEATRE there was a recognition amongst the members of the New Left that while the working class may be more affluent, as Hoggart put it in The Uses of Literacy, ‘the accompanying cultural changes are not always an improvement but in some of the more important instances are a worsening’ (1957, 318). Throughout their writings, certain phrases recur: ‘common culture’, ‘the means of life’, ‘structure of feeling’. These can seem nebulous. Roger Scruton, in Thinkers of the New Left, claims, as one might expect, little of substance for Williams’s work.
Wesker’s Roots has harsh things to say about football, rock ’n’ roll and comics (1964, 89), dance music on the radio (108) and pop songs (114–115). Beatie’s great final speech—which Michael Kaye in New Left Review described as ‘a ULR Editorial to end all ULR Editorials’ (66)— invokes another inventory of mass cultural forms, deriding the patronising bad faith of ‘the slop singers and the pop writers and the film makers and women’s magazines and the Sunday papers and the picture strip love stories’ (147–148).
1956 and All That: The Making of Modern British Drama by Dan Rebellato