Howard Brenton: Revenge (1081 words)


Howard Brenton's Revenge (Royal Court, 1969) is a companion to his better-known Christie in Love, and portrays the revenge of the arch-criminal, Eastender Adam Hepple, on Assistant Commissioner of Police McLeish. The police and criminals are partial mirror images of one another, sharing moral ambiguity amid a Jacobean sense of a decadent and corrupt society – by the end of the play, everyone has died violently. The play's ethos is anarchist, and its sense of a decadent society suggests that past traditions and customary ways of thinking are effectively dead.

Originally billed as a “Romantic Melodrama in the Theatre Upstairs”, Revenge opened on 2 September 1969. Similarities have been drawn …

Citation: Foakes, Ian. "Revenge". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 April 2005 [, accessed 15 May 2021.]

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