Thursday, June 16, 2005

How long should a play be?

Billington (Guardian) has come out attacking the length of plays that playwrights are currently writing.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1460809,00.html

He says

“the new, slavish obeisance to the 90-minute rule stems, I suspect, from a mixture of fashion and ignorance; in particular, a shocking unawareness of even the recent past when drama moved beyond a single situation or point of crisis to examine causes as well as effects”

I know he is all for the “state of the nation play” but I think he misses the point about what playwrights are trying to do now.

*

Here’s a riposte to Billington’s no 90-minute play article.

One from Ian Rickson (artistic director of the Royal Court)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1463920,00.html

I like “New cultural and political eras demand new forms” and “We live in a time when there is a disappointment with unifying ideology and a greater consciousness of contradiction. The old forms in which the writer diagnoses and hypothesises no longer speak to today's playwrights.”

*

Another from David Elridge, who has just had Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness go up at the Court.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1471207,00.html

this riposte is elegant, thoughtful and something I empathise with.

I like:

“I am getting impatient," Michael Billington wrote in the Guardian recently, "with ... dramatic driblets that offer ideas for plays rather than plays of ideas." Well, not half as impatient as play-wrights are with him, as he tirelessly pursues his own agenda of trying to encourage the re-emergence of the old-fashioned polemical play whose prime function is "social analysis".

1 Comments:

Blogger Kendogirl said...

Thank you for posting these links. As a writer, it's hard for me to know what else is going on beyond my own nose. As a critic, it appears to be the same. He needs to read and see that the variation of time corresponds to the variation of theme and goals, not just the 90 min blip.

4/07/2011 6:24 pm  

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