Howard Brenton, Epsom Downs

John Baker (University of Westminster); Steve Barfield (University of Human Development, Suleymanyia, Iraqi Kurdistan)
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Epsom Downs

(Round House, 1977), written for Joint Stock Theatre Company, was Howard Brenton's characteristically mordant contribution to the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations. His view of this royal occasion was similar to that of Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols. (The Pistols' ironic song, ‘God Save the Queen', included the rhyme “and the fascist regime”. This became a punk anthem of the disillusioned youth of the late 1970s).

Epsom Downs

is an epic version of a naturalist slice-of-life play, a comedy that shows a cross section of the population on a particular day; yet it also has strong affinities to the tumultuous city comedies of Ben Jonson (such as

Bartholomew Fair

) with their celebratory and carnivalesque rendition of the life of the people.

It was produced

814 words

Citation: Baker, John, Steve Barfield. "Epsom Downs". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 February 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16703, accessed 12 June 2024.]

16703 Epsom Downs 3 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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