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Howard Brenton’s Transmutation from Political Theatre to Absurd Theatre

Author: Velmani, N.; Associate Professor of English, V.V.Vanniaperumal College for Women Virudhunagar-626001
Publisher: Techmind Research Society 2014-06-01
Edition/Format:   Downloadable archival material : English
Summary:
Of all the contemporary dramatists, Howard Brenton is surely the most prolific, marked by breadth and variety, his plays mainly tackling moments of great political upheavals of the time. Many of his plays are turned out at speed as quick responses to events in public life. Brenton, as a man of political conviction, exposes contemporary consciousness. The theatre serves as a platform for his political revolt  Read more...
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Genre/Form: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Velmani, N.; Associate Professor of English, V.V.Vanniaperumal College for Women Virudhunagar-626001
Language Note: English
OCLC Number: 902658378
Notes: application/pdf

Abstract:

Of all the contemporary dramatists, Howard Brenton is surely the most prolific, marked by breadth and variety, his plays mainly tackling moments of great political upheavals of the time. Many of his plays are turned out at speed as quick responses to events in public life. Brenton, as a man of political conviction, exposes contemporary consciousness. The theatre serves as a platform for his political revolt expressive of disillusionment at the failure of socialism. Following the trend of Brechtian Epic Theatre, Brenton used the basic principles in matters of setting, characterization, empathy and dramatic structure and the techniques of socialist realism  creating a fable with characters capable of change showing the light of dawn in the darkest night. He evolved a large-scale ‘epic’ theatre dealing in complex political issues, an attempt to constitute a British Epic theatre. Since 1965, Brenton committed himself to a career as a playwright with his first play Ladder of Fools till the recent play Drawing the Line (2013), he has widely moved through different phases of his career as a political dramatist with the portrayal of England in terms of a violent political landscape. But of late, there is transmutation from political theatre to absurd theatre. In his recent play Drawing the Line Brenton faces an epic task himself in distilling the turmoil of India-Pakistan partition into two hours on stage. He makes the audience realize the absurdity of decisions made by the intelligent principled political leaders that end up in tumultuous violence and conflicting demands.
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