Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Well Good Play

John Elsom (Post-War British Theatre, 1979) says that 'the well-made play' was a compromise between naturalism and the Aristotelian virtues. Following a 'romantic' obsession with art in imitation of nature (following Wordsworth and every other poet who never met a sublime visage, or some flowers, they didn't love to distraction), Ibsen was a 'scientist' who used a combination of chatty language, modern dress and probably a bit of Freudian theory to make theatre 'realistic'. 

Realising that naturalism wasn't enough by itself - true connoisseurs of naturalism could find enough of it on the street corner without having to buy a ticket to the theatre  - he nicked some of Aristotle's favourite jams (The Crisis, The Heroes, The Unities). 

Sometimes I fucking wonder about the level of theatre scholarship in the 1970s.

No comments :

Post a Comment