British Political Theatre

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

Steve Barfield (University of Human Development, Suleymanyia, Iraqi Kurdistan)
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[Preliminary entry] Theatre is the most public and thus, arguably, the most innately political of art forms. However, the term British political theatre refers a group of diverse, yet like-minded playwrights and theatre practitioners. These would include: Arnold Wesker; John Arden; Trevor Griffiths; (early) Howard Barker; Edward Bond; Howard Brenton; John McGrath and 7:84; David Hare; David Edgar; Caryl Churchill; Peter Barnes. They believed that plays could not only diagnose what was wrong with British society, but could promote radical social and political change. Their work dominated non-commercial, alternative British theatre between roughly 1960 to the mid-1980s, the period ending with the apogee of Thatcherism (1979-1990) in the …

250 words

Citation: Barfield, Steve. "British Political Theatre". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2004 [, accessed 03 June 2023.]

1477 British Political Theatre 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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