The Lost Summer: The Heyday of the West End Theatre

Overview

The Lost Summer is a vital and necessary re evaluation of an era which is in danger of being written off as worthless and trivial- the era of mid-twentieth century British theatre. Taking the career of one man, Frith Banbury, and actor/producer/director who was active throughout this period, Charles Duff revisits many of the best productions, actors, and playwrights of these years, recreating significant action both on and off the stage. Banbury worked with all the luminaries of this time- John Gielgud, Peggy ...

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Overview

The Lost Summer is a vital and necessary re evaluation of an era which is in danger of being written off as worthless and trivial- the era of mid-twentieth century British theatre. Taking the career of one man, Frith Banbury, and actor/producer/director who was active throughout this period, Charles Duff revisits many of the best productions, actors, and playwrights of these years, recreating significant action both on and off the stage. Banbury worked with all the luminaries of this time- John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft, Michael Redgrave, and others--and has been an invaluable source of first-hand knowledge and informed opinion. This book will alter many mind-sets and provoke many rediscoveries.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780435070236
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 7/1/1996
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.15 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Deeply Interested and Earnest Young Men 3
Training with Joan Littlewood 11
Part One: An Actor in the Thirties
The Worst Unicorn I Ever Had 17
Eagerness and Concentration 25
Part Two: A Conchie in the Theatre of the Forties
Revue and After 39
The West End 1940s 53
Wynyard Browne: Quiet Plays from a Quiet Man 63
Part Three: A Producer in the Fifties
The West End 1950s 97
N.C. Hunter: Plays That Actors Liked To Speak 109
Terence Rattigan and The Deep Blue Sea 127
Part Four
Rodney Ackland: Either a Fog or the King Died 139
Part Five: 1954
John Whiting: an Enigma with the Possibility of a Solution 171
Old Vic Interlude 183
Part Six: In the Face of the Royal Court
Reaction Against Aunt Edna 191
Robert Bolt: If You Want a Non-Naturalistic Production, Write a Non-Naturalistic Play 199
Directing at the Royal Court: Moon on a Rainbow Shawl 217
Part Seven: Watershed, Doldrums and Renaissance
Watershed 225
Doldrums 229
Renaissance 233
Appendixes 241
Notes 253
Bibliography 262
Index 265
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