Genre: Drama
Killing Time

Killing Time

£5.75
Author:
Series: Oxford Theatre Texts, Book 3
Genre: Drama
Tag: Killing Time

Killing Time, the centrepiece of Francis Warner’s Requiem trilogy, is a study of war and of its roots in each one of us. The play was performed at the 1975 Edinburgh Festival, where it won high acclaim.

'The plays of Francis Warner have, by daring appeal to the realms of music and physiology, considerably widened the area of sensibility of those properly responsive to them. . . . Killing Time is not for all markets, but where it is appreciated it will fetch a high price.’ Harold Hobson, The Sunday Times

‘Dramatic and provoking. . . . Excellent acting by an experienced cast.’     The Scotsman 'Killing Time completes a remarkable trilogy by one of Britain’s leading playwrights. Warner is not an “easy” playwright. His works bristle with intellect and although his characters are genuinely human the situations in which they find themselves are often dramatically bizarre.’ Cambridge Evening News

'Killing Time is a difficult play to assess in conventional terms. Nevertheless this is a truly intellectual play. . . a diverse but consciously poetic vision of war as a “fever in the brain”.’     Edinburgh Festival Times

'Killing Time is an important philosophical and moral work. Set in the human brain, it is a series of vignettes on the subject of war, all carefully counterpointed to reflect the biological working patterns of the brain. Not so much a play as a theatrical poem or mathematical theorem, it is unashamedly intellectual, frequently provoking and always demanding.’ The Stage

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The Importance of Being Oscar

The Importance of Being Oscar

£4.99
An Entertainment on the Life and Works of Oscar Wilde
21.6 x 13.8 cm.     71pp.    1995
Facsimile of the 1978 2nd Dolmen edition
ISBN: 978-0-85105-510-7
Originally created by the author as a one man show that was first produced at the Gate Theatre in Dublin in 1960 to rapturous reviews, and over the next fifteen years performed by him all over the world,  the most recent production was performed by Simon Callow at the Savoy Theatre in 1998. Originally published by the Dolmen Press in 1963, critics acclaimed the text as 'an outstandingly skilful and memorable tribute from one Irish artist to another' (Micheal O hAodha, The Irish Press), and 'every bit as Wildeanly witty as Oscar at his best' (Quidnunc in The Irish Times). The present printing uses the designs mac Liammóir produced for the record sleeves for his recording of the work. More info →
Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, The First Production

Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, The First Production

£40.00
Edited by Joseph Donohue with Ruth Berggren

21.0 x 27.4 cm   378 pp.  with 158 illus.  1995    Princess Grace Irish Library series (ISSN 0269-2619) volume 10

At its première 100 years ago on Saint Valentine's Day 1895, at the St James's Theatre in King Street, London, Oscar Wilde's `trivial comedy for serious people' The Importance of Being Earnest found great and immediate favour with audiences and critics alike. Yet, by early May, the play had disappeared from the stage, its author convicted of immoral offences and condemned to two years' imprisonment with hard labour. A century later, although Wilde's reputation has long since been restored and his last play for the stage become a timeless classic, much of the meaning and significance the work held for its contemporary audience has been lost or diluted.

The present edition fills this gap in understanding by reconstructing the original 1895 St James's Theatre production. The text itself, derived from theatrical typescripts, including the Lord Chamberlain's licensing copy and Charles Frohman's script for the American premiere, is profusely annotated and illustrated from contemporary sources and presented in a format that balances text and context. An extraordinary range of materials is thus combined to show or explain what the first performance of The Importance of Being Earnest was like in the theatre and how its audiences and critics received it.

Based upon a new, reconstructive method for the study of theatrical performance that aims to set the play securely in its historical and cultural moment, the edition offers a wealth of detail about the staging and acting of the play, including numerous first production and early revival photographs. The reconstructed text itself, remarkably close to the 1899 first edition seen through the press by Wilde himself, recaptures the essential comic vitality of the play that is familiar to audiences throughout the world.

This work will therefore appeal to readers, scholars, theatre practitioners, lovers of the theatre and of the writings of Oscar Wilde.

A Reconstructive Critical Edition of the Text of the First Production at St James's Theatre, London, 1895, Annotated and illustrated from contemporary sources, and edited, with introductory essays on the play and its text by Joseph Donohue with Ruth Berggren. This fully annotated edition of the play, with 158 contemporary illustrations, informs the general reader and scholar alike of all those points that are now likely to be missed, while also giving an overall view of the contemporary cultural and political background. It won the 1995 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History.

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Healing Nature

Healing Nature

£6.50
Author:
Series: Oxford Theatre Texts, Book 9
Genre: Drama
Tag: Healing Nature
21.6 x 13.8 cm. Oxford Theatre Texts 9

'Francis Warner has shown once more he is a masterful poet and dramatist. Healing Nature, his eleventh play, is his best work to date. The action centres round Pericles, the aristocratic general, commandingly played by Rob Smith, as he creates "an Athens all the world will imitate", only to see the tide of fortune turn and the empire fall into decay. Its exploration of the dilemmas facing empire-builders and empire- losers is original, thought-provoking, and relevant.

‘It is a compelling play which combines the grand, heroic drama of Marlowe's Tamburlaine with moments of exquisitely delicate lyric poetry and unexpected dashes of humour.' The Stage

'A real treat in poetry was to be had in the Sheldonian last night. This was the première performance of Healing Nature, by Francis Warner. . . The play is about the turmoil that the birth pangs of democracy bring to a city, and the revolution and hostilities that accompany it.

‘Francis Warner's play was safe in the hands of the Oxford University Dramatic Society, who, under the direction of Mark Payton, put on a classically Greek production. All brought out the Shakespearian quality of the play's verse and depth of meaning. And there could have been no better setting than the magnificent amphitheatre that is the Sheldonian.' Oxford Mail. A ‘contemporary classic’ Oxford Mail More info →

Selected Plays of Hugh Leonard

Selected Plays of Hugh Leonard

£9.99 paperback
Chosen and Introduced by S.F.Gallagher

The ninth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN: 0-86140-140-9 / 978-0-86140-140-6 £35.00
Papercover ISBN: 00-86140-141-7 / 978-0-86140-141-3 £9.95
21.6 x 13.8 cm.   

Contains: The Au Pair Man, The Patrick Pearse Motel, Da, Summer, A Life, Kill, Bibliographical Checklist.

`Hugh Leonard' is the pen-name of John Keyes Byrne. He is, as Christopher Fitz-Simon has written, `the most prolific and most technically assured of modern Irish playwrights', and his cosmopolitanism is shown by the range of his work, twenty-five plays (eighteen of which have been published), and seven adaptations of others' work for stage, something like thirty individual plays for television, work for over forty TV series totalling well in excess of 120 original episodes, and over 100 episodes for serials based on others' works (Emily Bronte, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Somerville & Ross, for example), as well as over a dozen film scripts. The output is truly phenomenal.

Although a constant contributor to television, it is for the theatre that he has produced his finest work. This selection amply illustrates Leonard's cosmopolitan talent and his constant ability to entertain his audience.

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Selected Plays of Austin Clarke

Selected Plays of Austin Clarke

£36.00
Chosen and Introduced by Mary Shine Thompson

The fourteenth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

21.6 x 13.8 cm.  
Contains: The Son of Learning, The Flame, Black Fast, The Kiss, As the Crow Flies, The Viscount of Blarney, The Second Kiss, Liberty Lane,and the hitherto unpublished The Frenzy of Sweeney and St Patrick’s Purgatory (a translation of Calderón’s play), ‘Verse Speaking’, ‘Verse Speaking and Verse Drama’, and a bibliographical checklist.

Austin Clarke (1896-1974) is known as a poet, a playwright, a broadcaster and a novelist. In the later part of his life his work became better known principally through the support given by Liam Miller and the Dolmen Press in publishing his Collected Plays (1963) and later single plays, and volumes of poems, culminating in his Collected Poems (1974). His work as a reviewer was ceaseless, and during his life he wrote over 1,500 reviews, assessing over 5,000 books, but it must be as one of twentieth century Ireland’s most important poets that he is best known.

Clarke’s plays are less well known, both perhaps because they are verse plays, and also because they have been out of print for so many years, so the publication of a selection was long overdue.

Mary Shine Thompson is a lecturer in the English Department of St Patrick's College Drumcondra (Dublin City University) and College Coordinator of Research. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled 'Austin Clarke; A Literary Life-Chronology'. She was commissioned to prepare the National Library of Ireland's Catalogue of its Austin Clarke holdings, completed in 2003. Among her publications are Studies in Children Literature 1500-2000  (Four Courts Press, 2004) and Treasure Islands, Real And Imagined, in Children's Literature (2005), both edited with C. Keenan.

Please note. Due to changes in sale patterns since the series was started we have not issued this work in paperback. ISBN 0-86140-209-X is cancelled.

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Goethe’s Weimar

Goethe’s Weimar

£9.95
Author:
Series: Oxford Theatre Texts, Book 13
Genre: Drama
Tag: Goethe's Weimar
21.6 x 13.8 cm. Oxford Theatre Texts 13

‘This is a study in “Weimar as a mode of spiritual life’, as Thomas Mann might have called it: the spirit of the place reflected in a swift series of sparkling encounters, bewildering in its variety, stirring in its epic scope.
'The vision was conveyed though some splendid acting. . . . Here they are, the secular saints of German Kulturreligion; all conjured up with perfect ease and conviction. This play is about people, some more, some less noble, but all noble in their efforts and, in Faustian fashion, “ever striving”. . .
'In the end, what counts is language, the language of poetry (as Herder would have been the first to insist). The verse is effortless and pure, and rises on occasion to noble resonance.
'For readers of German literature, this language holds special delights. In addition to the poems and the plays, the novels and the essays, contemporary letters, diaries, reported conversations are continually present. Much learning, lightly worn, has gone into this play.
'An example. At the end of the play, the audience is left with a masterly translation of the most celebrated of Goethe’s, perhaps of all German poems (“Über allen Gipfeln/ist Ruh”).
'The end is sombre, indeed. This mystery play promises no salvation. The sound of cannons is a moving and fitting end to Goethe’s Weimar.' Oxford Magazine

'The scale is Shakespearean, with a huge cast (thirty speaking parts) sweeping through time and place in flowing blank verse. . . . Warner is excellently served by his actors; Daniel Cassiel brings gravitas to Goethe, and Ian Drysdale achieves an astonishing double as Schiller and Napoleon. Tim Prentki produces smoothly as always.' Oxford Times

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O’Casey the Dramatist

O’Casey the Dramatist

£40.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.     Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 19

O’Casey, the Dramatist is the first study to analyse each of Sean O’Casey’s plays in the context of the whole body of his work. His first plays were performed by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin until it refused The Silver Tassie, a rejection that brought about a most acrimonious debate, broke up friendships, and caused O’Casey to sever his links with the Abbey. Its directors were unable to understand the first of his experimental plays, and could not appreciate its true quality. Thence­forth O'Casey’s writing developed along new lines, mostly away from his Irish roots.

In popular estimation his best plays are those of the Dublin years – The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars – but many of his later works are greatly undervalued; indeed The Silver Tassie, Within the Gates, Purple Dust, Red Roses for Me, Hall of Healing, Cock-a-doodle Dandy and The Bishop's Bonfire are all masterpieces of modern drama, as this study shows.

Professor Kosok considers all the twenty-three extant plays, tracing O'Casey's development as a playwright through a chronological study and show­ing that his work can be divided into five periods, which are considered in this volume under the headings ‘Dublin as a Mirror of the World’, 'Experiments’, ‘Ideology and Drama', ‘Ireland as a Microcosm', and ‘Bitterness and Recon­ciliation’. He ends this study with a section headed ‘Continuity and Originality' in which he briefly summarises the findings of previous scholarship, suggests some additional answers to general problems, and indicates some avenues for future research.

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Four Plays by The Charabanc Theatre Company: ‘Inventing Women’s Work’

Four Plays by The Charabanc Theatre Company: ‘Inventing Women’s Work’

£35.00
Chosen, edited and introduced by Claudia Harris

ISBN: 978-0-86140-438-4
21.6 x 13.8 cm.  liv, 258pp. + 8pp. with 16  illus. hardback       November 2005

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The Charabanc Theatre Company played a major role in Northern Ireland’s theatrical renaissance during the 1980s. Charabanc was formed by five out-of-work Belfast actresses (Marie Jones, Maureen Macauly, Eleanor Methven, Carol Moore, Brenda Winter) who first collected stories and then collaborated in writing and performing highly original plays for enthusiastic audiences. From 1983 to 1995, the company toured twenty-tour productions extensively throughout Ireland and the world, spreading their own particular brand of exuberant, dark humour.

The four plays in this collection – Now You’re Talking (1985), Gold in the Streets (1986), The Girls in the Big Picture (1986), and Somewhere Over the Balcony (1987) – represent the creative high point of the company. These entertaining plays show the broad range of the company’s work: portraits of urban and rural women; early, mid-, and late twentieth century settings, and various social, religious, historical political, or personal relations.

Marie Jones, Eleanor Methven, and Carol Moore were the remaining company principals during the mid-1980s when these four plays were created and performed. Marie Jones became the main writer for Charabanc and after leaving the company in 1990 has continued to write, notably the award-winning Stones in His Pockets. Eleanor Methven and Carol Moore continued on as artistic directors until they disbanded the company in 1995. Eleanor Methven now lives in Dublin and is a sought-after actress for stage and screen, and her first screenplay is in development with Journeyman Films. Carol Moore obtained an MA from Queen’s University, Belfast, and still acts for stage and film, but is now primarily an accomplished stage and screen director; in May 2005 she received a NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) Fellowship.

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A Conception of Love

A Conception of Love

£5.95
Author:
Series: Oxford Theatre Texts, Book 5
Genre: Drama
Tag: Conception of Love
hbk 21.6 x 13.8 cm. Oxford Theatre Texts 5

In an empty circle, and without props, Francis Warner recreated for the 1978 Observer Oxford Festival of Theatre the world of late adolescence, of boys and girls caught in the process of becoming men and women.

‘Superbly and masterfully played’ (Oxford Mail), this beautifully balanced, minutely complex play examines the familiar Warnerian preoccupations, this time in a comedy of love, rich in poetry and generous in spirit

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Selected Plays of Denis Johnston

Selected Plays of Denis Johnston

£9.95 pbk
Chosen and Introduced by Joseph Ronsley

The second volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN: 0-86140-123-9 / 978-0-86140-123-9 £30.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-086-0 / 978-0-86140-086-7 £9.95

21.6 x 13.8 cm. 

Contains: The Old Lady Says 'No! (with Curtis Canfield's list of titles and authors of poems used in its Prologue)', The Moon in the Yellow River, The Golden Cuckoo, The Dreaming Dust, The Scythe and the Sunset, bibliographical checklist.

Denis Johnston's first play, The Old Lady Says 'No!', was produced in 1929, and immediately made his reputation as a very talented, innovative and deeply thoughtful playwright. This description was confirmed by his later plays, four of which, The Moon in the Yellow River, The Golden Cuckoo, The Dreaming Dust, and The Scythe and the Sunset, with The Old Lady, are printed in this volume. Written in widely varying styles, Johnston's work presents his audience with issues that initially seem clear-cut, but by the end of each play there have been thought through to such an extent that basic assumptions have been thoroughly reorganised and transformed.

At the time of publication of this selection in 1983 Denis Johnston (1901-84) was justly considered to be the doyen of Ireland's dramatists. Chosen and introduced by Joseph Ronsley, this selection is the ideal introduction to Johnston's work, for use by classes and performers alike.

Joseph Ronsley taught at McGill University, Montreal. He is author of Yeats's Autobiography: Life as Symbolic Pattern, and has edited Myth and Reality in Irish Literature, and Denis Johnston, a Retrospective. He is co-general editor of the Irish Drama Selections series, and has been a President of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies.

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Selected Plays of Dion Boucicault

Selected Plays of Dion Boucicault

£9.99
Chosen and Introduced by Andrew Parkin

The fourth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

21.6 x 13.8 cm.  416 pp. 2009     2nd, enlarged edition   

Contains: London Assurance, The Corsican Brothers, The Octoroon, The Colleen Bawn, The Shaughraun, Robert Emmet, bibliographical checklist. plus  Boucicault's "'Canterin' Jack' - A Sketch from Life. How The Shaughraun was originated'.

Dion Boucicault was a prominent playwright and prolific adapter of foreign plays and novels.  He is known and loved especially for his high melodrama.  Extremely popular on the Victorian commercial theatre for over forty years, his plays today still provide enjoyment to all audiences Born in Dublin, he achieved his first West End success with London Assurance in 1841. His work frankly catered to contemporary taste and fell rapidly into neglect after his death in 1890, but his lively observation of humanity in many moods, and his unerring sense of what works on the stage, have led his plays in recent years to successful revivals in Dublin, Belfast, Chichester and London, perhaps the most notable being the National Theatre's production of The Shaughraun starring Stephen Rea in the title role.

The works chosen for this volume illuminate Boucicault's consummate craft as a writer for the theatre in the age of actor-managers and melodrama. They also remind us of that Irish verve, charm and adroitness which made him the most popular playwright of his generation  on both sides of the Atlantic. Arguably the father of both the Irish and American drama, his characteristic plotting and taste for sensation suggest that another of his heirs was the early movie industry.

This volume includes the great success of Boucicault's youth, London Assurance, together with his preface to the first edition; his durable version of the melodrama The Corsican Brothers; the exciting American plantation play The Octoroon, with both its endings; and three of his Irish plays, The Colleen Bawn, Robert Emmet, and The Shaughraun, to which has now been added his article on Cantherin' Jack, his inspiration for that play's title role. A selected bibliographical checklist, dates of first performances and cast lists are given, as are the songs, music and a glossary for the Irish plays.

The present selection from Boucicault's vast opus is chosen and introduced by Andrew Parkin. Andrew Parkin is Professor Emeritus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Honorary Senior Tutor of Shaw College. An Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies and Adviser to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, he belongs to a number of other international scholarly organisations. A member of the Canadian Writers’ Union, he is also adviser to the Canadian Chinese Writers’ Association. Residing now in France, he is President of the Paris Decorative and Fine Arts Society. He publishes scholarly books, mainly on drama, as well as original poetry, and short fiction.    

 

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Selected Plays of Paul Vincent Carroll

Selected Plays of Paul Vincent Carroll

£48.00

Chosen and introduced by George Cusack

The sixteenth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

21.6 x 13.8cm.

Contains: The Things That Are Caesar’s, Shadow and Substance, The Conspirators, The White Steed, The Devil Came from Dublin, and Goodbye to the Summer, articles about his and others' plays – 'The Substance of Paul Vincent Carroll', 'On Legend and the Arts', 'The White Steed', 'Scottish Drama', 'Can the Abbey be Restored?', 'Reforming a Reformer, 'The Rebel Mind' – and a bibliographical checklist.

Paul Vincent Carroll was the first Irish Catholic to write for the Irish National Theatre after Irish independence. As such, his work offers a unique perspective on Irish life in the early years of the Irish Free State and Irish Republic, particularly the influence of the Catholic Church in rural Ireland. He is particularly known for his depictions of the Catholic clergy, which are simultaneously critical, hopeful, and, above all, human.

Although Carroll was lauded in both Dublin and New York as a major new theatrical voice, virtually none of his work has been in print since his death in 1968.

George Cusack is the author of The Politics of Identity in Irish Drama: W. B. Yeats, Augusta Gregory, and J. M. Synge, and the co-editor of Hungry Words: Images of Famine in the Irish Canon. He received his PhD from the University of Oregon in 2003. He is currently the Director of the Edith Kinney Gaylord Expository Writing Program at the University of Oklahoma.

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Byzantium

Byzantium

out of print
Author:
Series: Oxford Theatre Texts, Book 10
Genre: Drama
Tag: Byzantium
21.6 x 13.8 cm. Oxford Theatre Texts 10

‘Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS) gave the première of Francis Warner’s new play Byzantium in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, followed by two performances in the University Church, Oxford, and another in Winchester Cathedral.

Byzantium is a play in two acts. It opens in 527 A.D. with the service in which Justinian is crowned Emperor in succession to his uncle Justin. In Act One Justinian is full of zeal and optimism for the tasks which his vision sets before him. Act Two is altogether more sombre, with unrest at home, news of a catastrophic earthquake in Beirut, and even Byzantium itself plague-stricken and the Empress herself dying. Moreover, the Emperor is plotted against by wily Cappadocian, who is trapped by the spirited Antonina, only to be spared from death by the Christian magnanimity of Justinian.

‘This complex background is sketched lightly yet comprehensively by Warner in elegant and beautiful verse, which was delivered with clarity and fluency by an admirable young cast directed by Tim Prentki

‘Warner did not choose an easy subject with Byzantium. He chose a challenge and he rose to that challenge and surmounted it magnificently. He is a master of plot and characterisation, and, indeed, of the English language, which he commands with a benign authority and loving finesse.’     The Stage

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The Old Lady Says ‘No!’

The Old Lady Says ‘No!’

£19.50
Author:
Series: Irish Dramatic Texts, Book 7
Genre: Drama
Tag: Old Lady Says 'No!'
Edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by Christine St Peter

ISBN: 978-0-86140-357-8
21.6 x 13.8 cm.   xiv, 140 pp.   1992
This definitive edition is based on Johnston's final 1977 version published in the Dramatic Works, the product of fifty years of revisions, and situates the play in its historical, theatrical, and biographical contexts. It is the first edition to have reference to all private and archival materials and to have had the assistance of the playwright in the preparation of its critical apparatus, which includes comprehensive annotations and analyses of all substantive changes in the multiple manuscripts. It will be of enduring interest to scholars specializing in Irish and European theatre history, as well as to students of Anglo-Irish literature and theatre directors.

Co-published with the Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C.

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Ze-Ami and his Theories of Noh Drama

Ze-Ami and his Theories of Noh Drama

£33.00
ISBN 978-0-86140-214-4 21.6 x 13.8 cm.

For over five centuries the essays of Ze-Ami – considered, with his father Kan-Ami, to be the founder of Noh, the classical dance-drama of Japan – were kept secret. They were not shown to more than one Noh actor in each generation until recently. Though they contain a large number of paradoxes and contradictory statements as well as a great deal of repetition, they were regarded as a Bible by actors in the Noh technique. As repetition was a constant feature in training and in techniques in many arts in Japan, and as paradox had often been used in the search for the truth in Zen, so Ze-Ami's essays were accepted, despite their repetitions, paradoxes and contradictions. They were not. however, easily translatable, and they benefit from being edited.

In this work therefore, Ze-Ami's ideas are dealt with in eight chapters: The History of Noh: Five Groups of Noh Plays: Training: Acting: Writing a Play: Public Tachiai Competitions and Grades of Acting: The Audience: and Hana. This arrangement presents Ze-Ami's ideas with some order and consistency. Relevant sections of eighteen essays by Ze-Ami are translated and discussed. These include Fushi-kaden, Kashū, Ongyoku-Kowadashi-kuden, Kukyō, Shikadō, Nikyoku-Santai-Ningyōzu, Sandō, Fushizuke-shidai Fukyokushū, Yūgaku-Shūdō-Fūcken, Goi, Kyūi, Rikugi, Shūgy-okutokuka, Goonkyoku-Jōjō, Goon, Shūdosho, Kyakurui-ku, and Zeshi-Roku-juigo-Sarugaku-Dangi.

This volume is a most useful introduction to an understanding of Noh history, practice, and technique, for all readers in the West, written as it is by a trained Noh actor..

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The Plays – Book 2

The Plays – Book 2

£8.99
Edited by Ann Saddlemyer

ISBN: 978-0-86140-061-4
xxxvi, 304 pp. 21.4cm
J.M.Synge died in 1909 and The Works of John M. Synge were published in four volumes by Maunsel & Co., Dublin, in 1910. Since that time, with the exception of a few minor verses and one or two fragments of prose, the canon of his work has remained unaltered. Nevertheless, much unpublished material exists, for the most part of great interest and significance for the understanding of Synge's methods of work and development. This material, including early drafts of the plays, notebooks, poems, and fragments of poetic drama, has now been thoroughly explored in order to create this definitive edition, first published by Oxford University Press 1962-68, which not only collects together all that is of significance in his printed and in his unprinted work, but also, by a careful use of worksheets and early drafts, indicates much of the process of creation.

The Collected Works is under the general editorship of the late Professor Robin Skelton, of the University of Victoria, British Columbia. The first volume contains his edition of Synge's poems and translations; the second assembles all Synge's prose writings of any merit or interest, edited by the late Dr Alan Price, of The Queen's University, Belfast.

The third and fourth volumes are devoted to Synge's plays, edited by Professor Ann Saddlemyer, then of Victoria College, University of Toronto, now retired. The first of these volumes contains texts of Riders to the Sea, The Shadow of the Glen, and The Well of the Saints, and of the originally little known When the Moon has Set, with appendices analysing the drafts of each play and giving details of first productions. In addition the volume contains much unpublished material, scenarios, dialogues, and fragments, discovered among Synge's notebooks.

This volume provides definitive texts of The Tinker's Wedding, The Playboy of the Western World, and Deirdre of the Sorrows. For all these three plays recently discovered manuscript and notebook material has involved a certain amount of textual alteration; an examination of the long-lost final typescript of The Playboy of the Western World has provided many clues to the author's intentions, while comparison of the various drafts of Deirdre of the Sorrows with the typescript given by the executors to Yeats and Lady Gregory has enabled Dr Saddlemyer to determine the extent of posthumous collaboration.

Synge rewrote his plays many times; one act of The Playboy ran to at least fifteen full drafts, not counting numerous alterations. By examining each available draft of every play, the editor has been able to provide not only a final text of each play as close as possible to the dramatist's version, but in her accompanying notes almost a variorum study of significant passages. Appendixes record the growth of each play from the original scenario through many drafts to the final text, and include discarded scenes which throw new light on the playwright's creative process. Details of first productions and a comprehensive description of all the manuscript sources are also included. The introduction traces the history of each play, quoting extensively from Synge's unpublished correspondence and notebooks to record the dramatist's attitude to his own work in the making, and to set each play against the broader background of the Abbey Theatre. In searching out the material for this edition, Dr Saddlemyer has made use of public and private collections in both Ireland and the United States, and has also included a glossary and guide to pronunciation.

These volumes were published by arrangement with Oxford University Press.

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Agora : In Two Volumes

Agora : In Two Volumes

£22.50
ISBN: Volume 2 :0-86140-373-8 £17.50

ISBN: The pair : 0-86140--374-6 £40.00

Written over the past twenty-two years Agora contains Francis Warner’s plays originally published in the Oxford Theatre Texts series, the theme of which is the West’s odyssey in discovery of its own values, and – in the second half of the work – what the Twentieth Century has done with them.

The first half of the epic (Volume 1) meets the classical tradition on its own grounds. It opens with Healing Nature, a play about Periclean Athens, and this is followed by a trilogy of Roman plays – Virgil and Caesar, Moving Reflections and Light Shadowsthen Byzantium, and concludes with Living Creation, a dramatisation of Renaissance Florence under Lorenzo de’ Medici.

The second half (Volume II), opening with A Conception of Love, a comedy of love to mark the half-way point, is set in the Twentieth Century, and uses Twentieth Century techniques. It contains Maquettes for the Requiem Trilogy and the plays themselves, Lying Figures, Killing Time and Meeting Ends. Added as an appendix is Tim Prentki’s Introduction to the one volume edition of Requiem, published in 1980.

Comments on the plays in Volume I

‘Common to all these plays is a focusing on a moment in history when the attempt was made to ennoble the life of man, to produce that great society, radiant in arts and civilised in politics, which is the mirage that haunts the traveller through the dusty plains of human history. Choice spirits struggle to unite beauty, justice, peace. Of course the struggle is always lost in the end. . . . Detailed. . . accurate . . . moving, with convincing dramatic power, Warner’s verse filled the ear satisfyingly, and echoes in the memory.’ Jasper Griffin, in Oxford Magazine

‘He is a master of plot and characterization, and, indeed, of the English language, which he commands with a benign authority and loving finesse.' The Stage

A ‘contemporary classic’ Oxford Mail

Comments on the plays in Volume II

‘The remarkable series of dramas written by our most adventurous experimental playwright.’  The Times

‘Francis Warner is the most remarkable of those dramatists of our time who have striven to push the limits of theatre beyond their age-old limits. His plays have, by daring appeal to the realms of music and physiology, considerably widened the area of sensibility of those properly responsive to them. They are unique, possibly the only truly unique drama of our time.’ Sir Harold Hobson in The Sunday Times

‘The sort of illuminated shorthand of his style, allied to his arresting visual images, is clearly capable of making a very direct contact - and an electrically shocking one at that. He is a considerable writer.’ Plays and Players

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The Dramatic Works, Volume 3

The Dramatic Works, Volume 3

£35.00
Author:
Series: Selected Titles, Book 3
Genre: Drama
Tag: Dramatic Works Volume 3
hardback ISBN: 0-86140-080-1 / 978-0-86140-080-5 £35.00
three-quarter leather signed edition limited to 25 copies
ISBN: 0-86140-081-X / 978-0-86140-081-2 £150.00

21.6 x 13.8 cm.      516 pp.   1992 
Volume 3 of the Dramatic Works of Denis Johnston

Edited by Joseph Ronsley

Publication of the third volume completes the collection of Johnston's work. Volume 3, The Radio and Television Plays, is in many ways the most interesting, not least because Johnston was one of the founding fathers of BBC drama and a major influence on viewers' very perception of what a television play consists of. Also printed in this collection are a number of articles and other prose writings about drama on radio and television. After a very happy pre-war period working for BBC Radio Northern Ireland, he moved to the embryonic television service at Alexandra Palace - he was one of the few to have been temporarily thrown out of television when broadcasting ceased for the duration of hostilities and he became a BBC Radio War Reporter. An interesting feature of the TV scripts is the early development of television script-writing technique, which, as these faithful reproductions from extant typescripts show, grew out of the conventions used in play-scripts.

Contents: 

Radio Plays: Lillibulero, Multiple Studio Blues, Great Parliamentarians: Lord Palmerston, High Command, The Gorgeous Lady Blessington, Amanda McKittrick Ros, In the Train; Television Drama: The Parnell Commission, Weep for the Cyclops, The Call to Arms, Operations at Killyfaddy, Murder Hath No Tongue; Essays on Broadcasting; Reviews; Appendices: Blind Man's Buff, Riders to the Sidhe; A Radio Talk.

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Yeats and the Noh: A Comparative Study

Yeats and the Noh: A Comparative Study

£30.00
21.6 x 13.8cm. Irish Literary Studies series 38

W.B. Yeats wrote the plays in Four Plays for Dancers (1921) when he was strongly influenced by Japanese Noh theatre, and was searching for some breakthrough in his efforts to promote poetic drama.

Since then, various books have been published on this topic but, with the notable exception of Richard Taylor, no scholar has been able to cope with both Yeats and Noh. Yeats and the Noh started in a small seminar room in University College Dublin, when both authors took part in productions of The Dreaming of the Bones and Nishikigi with their students. Masaru Sekine directed both plays and Christopher Murray performed in them: they were therefore equipped with live experience as well as their personal expertise in Irish literature and Noh drama.

Professor Augustine Martin introduces the volume, and apart from the main section of the book, Colleen Hanrahan, one of the students who took part in both UCD productions, writes about acting in Yeats’s play; Peter Davidson writes about Yeats, Pound, Rummel and Dulac; and Katharine Worth provides an essay on Yeats, Beckett and Noh. There are 16 pages of illustrations.

This volume is unique in providing detailed analysis of contrasts in theatrical aims, as well as examining why man seeks to explore tragic drama as a means of extending the limits of reality.

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