Theatre has never been afraid to adapt, rewrite and contemporize Shakespeare's drama since theatre by definition is a living medium involving a corporate creativity. Shakespeare himself rewrote or adapted old plays and stories and since writing his dramas have experienced many transformations. Recent dramatists following this age-old tradition have rewritten some of Shakespeare's plays for the contemporary stage or modelled their drama on formulations used by him. Michael Scott examines a selection of such plays written in the last forty years. Some, such as Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot or Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead have become famed. Others such as Ionesco's Macbett are less well known but are no less signficant. Edward Bond's Lear, Arnold Wesker's The Merchant and Charles Marowitz's Collages represent an attempt by some modern dramatists to challenge a particular ideology which appears to have appropriated Shakespeare to itself. The book concludes with an examination of some recent trends in Shakespearean production, particularly by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgements - Introduction: Re-Interpreting Shakespeare - Parasitic Comedy: Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead - A Divergent View of Human Nature: Edward Bond, Bingo and Lear - Demythologizing Shylock: Arnold Wesker, The Merchant; Charles Marowitz, Variations on The Merchant of Venice - Frustrating Dramatic Structure: Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot and Endgame - Modern Morality Plays: Eugene Ionesco, Exit the King and Macbeth - The Jacobean Pinter: The Homecoming - Theatrical Discontinuity: Charles Marowitz, The Shrew, An Othello, Collage Hamlet - Postscript: The Modernized Bard - Notes and References - Production Dates of Principal Plays Discussed - Select Bibliography - Index