Michael Prior provides a clear understanding of just how much British theatre in general has changed in the past sixty years and just why.
It includes all major developments in British theatre including major productions and personalities as well as theatrical institutions.
“This is intended to be a cultural history of British theatre covering the last half of the twentieth century and edging into the twenty-first. ”
“In Britain, the theatre has been the most successful national cultural form of the last half-century using culture in its narrower artistic sense. British theatre, beginning in the 1950s with dramatists such as Osborne and Wesker continuing through the Bond, Arden and Pinter generation to more recent writers such as Hare, has achieved an international reputation for excellence . . .
“Yet, despite this evidence of success, there is a continuing undercurrent of crisis. It is alleged that the big national companies are in a mess, both financially and in artistic terms, that regional theatres are facing bankruptcy, that the standard of new plays is poor and that theatre needs a ‘new’ audience to survive. Such complaints may be well-founded but it is also true that these complaints have been perennial throughout the past sixty years. ”