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Modern British Drama by Peter Saccio
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Saccio is an engaging guide to "Modern" British Drama, which in this case means Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, John Osborne, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Caryl Churchill, and David Hare. He is at best when describing the details of the plays and quoting (or acting out) their dialogue. He is at his worst when he takes an early sidetrack in the Wilde lecture to allude to his own sex life. This 8-part survey is much too short to be anything more than a brief introduction, and dating from 1995, it is dated, especially the last lecture on Churchill and Hare. These days, he would probably be allotted 24 half-hour lectures rather than eight 45-minute ones. Still, he doesn't waste any time, and he is a smooth lecturer, other than his frequent pauses to sip water (at least that's what it sounded like he was doing on my audio version). Most surprisingly, to me, was his ranking of Shaw right after Shakespeare as the greatest British playwright, although he makes a good case for it.The lecture on Pinter's Homecoming, a play I read in college, is especially good. So despite it being out of date, I would still recommend this course to anyone interested in the theater or in literature. ( )
1 vote datrappert | Jan 11, 2019 |
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