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Arnold Wesker

Playwright and Dramatist

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Arnold Wesker
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1971. The Plays of Arnold Wesker: An Assessment by Glenda Leeming; Simon Trussler

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Leeming, Glenda; and Trussler, Simon. 'The Plays of Arnold Wesker: An Assessment', published by Gollancz in 1971 in hardcover with dustjacket, 222pp, ISBN 0575007249. Sorry, sold out, but click image or links to right to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon UK
1971, Gollancz
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About the authors:

Glenda Leeming at the time of publication was a tutor in the Humanities for the Open University, lecturing in drama and the modern novel for the Extra-Mural Department of London University and the Workers Educational Association. She has reviewed books for Tribune and has introduced the Panther edition of Scott's Ivanhoe. She graduated from University College London in 1965, and, as Rosa Morison Scholar, has been awarded her M. Phil. Degree for a study of the novels of Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot

Simon Trussler at the time of publication was drama critic of Tribune, a founding-editor of the international review, Theatre Quarterly, and editor of the fourth edition of the Oxford Companion to the Theatre. His earlier [than 1971] full-length works include Theatre at Work, Eighteenth Century Comedy, Burlesque Plays of the Eighteenth Century, and The Plays of John Osborne. A former editor of Encore and a regular contributor to the New York Drama Review and other periodicals, Simon Trussler is a graduate of University College London; he was awarded his Master's degree in 1966.

About the book: This is the second in a series of five studies offering the fullest available assessments of the plays of the major new English dramatists (of the early 1970s). Glenda Leeing has here undertaken, in collaboration with Simon Trussler, a play-by-play analysis of theme, structure, characterisation and language, which corrects many of the over-rigid critical commonplaces. A lengthy section on the Wesker Trilogy emphasises the real complexity of plays which have too often been understood superficially, whilst the more evidently "difficult" works, The Four Seasons and The Friends, are shown to be respectively the least viable and most fruitful of the plays. Wesker's stylistic development from the early naturalism of the Trilogy through the episodic experiments of Chips with everything and Their Very Own and Golden City to his more densely-structured latest plays is fully discussed, and an additional chapter is devoted to Wesker's political and theoretical essays. The study is underpinned by full biographies of work by and about Wesker, and by cast lists of major productions. Glenda Leeming has also collaborated with Simon Trussler on a study of John Arden. Trussler's independent studies of Whiting and Pinter complete the series

Contents:

Acknowledgements; Introduction
1. Daily Bread
The Kitchen
2. Words and Silences
Chicken Soup with Barley
Roots
I'm Talking About Jerusalem
3. Patterns of Failure
Chips with Everything
Their Very Own and Golden City
4. Private Pain
The Four Seasons
The Friends
5. Towards Totality
Fears of Fragmentation

Conclusion; Notes & References; Chronology; Cast Lists; Bibliography

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