Wednesday, April 27, 2005

In defence of short plays

Playwright David Eldridge in The Guardian hits back at Michael Billington for his argument that short plays are damaging theatre.
He [Billington] hints that new dramatists aren't serious, but these forms are created out of the serious endeavour of telling stories in the most truthful, effective and expressive way possible. The drama we are creating is often more experiential and variations upon the single action are almost always the right way of telling these stories. One admired dramatist has said to me that the interval has always seemed mad for a lot of her plays because of their subjective nature - and she won't throw everything she's carefully built up to give the punters a packet of crisps and a gin and tonic. The works of Beckett and Pinter are in our culture now, and for Billington to infer that we ought to hack away at old-fashioned forms that don't express the truth of our stories is pure poppycock. What about Sarah Kane's first play, Blasted - should she have conceived her material as a traditional well-made play?

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