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Title: Funny Turns: Peter Nichols, The National Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, 1967-1982
Author: Patton, Alec
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
This thesis is a case study following Peter Nichols' career from his first major stage play in 1967 to his announced retirement from the theatre in 1982, focussing primarily on his work at the National Theatre (NT) and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and looking in detail at the following plays: A Day in the Death ofJoe Egg, The National Health, Beasts of England, The Freeway, Privates on Parade, Passion Play, and Poppy. A great deal of its research comes from Peter Nichols' personal papers, which the British Library acqUired in 1999. It also includes material from firstperson interviews conducted with Nichols himself, with the director Michael Blakemore, and with other theatre practitioners, Throughout the thesis, Nichols is treated not only as the author of a series of interesting plays, but as the centre of a network of relationships and an array of forces. Nichols' experiences at the NT and RSC therefore provide insights into the means of production at these/two companies during a key period in their development. This thesis also addresses the geographical, historical, and cultural scope that Nichols brings to his portrayal of the post-war Britain. Nichols' Britain is not 'white', nor is it restricted to the confines of a single island. Instead, his plays address both the outward spread of the British Empire and the arrival of immigrants from former colonies. Finally, this thesis examines Nichols' 'mixed' theatrical style, which draws on a variety of. theatrical (as well as cinematic and musical) sources, particularly genres such as pantomime and variety theatre which are not constrained by the conventions of 'naturalism'. Nichols' plays are therefore riddled with violations of the terms that have been tacitly agreed by performers and audience, and these violations are discussed throughout the chapters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: University of Sheffield, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.487619  DOI: Not available
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