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Poll: Jubilee Playwrights - The New Elizabethans


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#1 admin

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 04:57 PM

Hi all - as you may have noticed, we're running a poll to find the top British playwright of the past 60 years. We've drawn up a shortlist of ten (from a longlist of 60), and you can vote on it here:

http://www.whatsonst...your vote?.html

No doubt there'll be some of you who disagree with our list, so feel free to air your views - and if you're on Twitter use the hashtag #wosjubilee to join the debate.

Thanks,
Whatsonstage.com

#2 Epicoene

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:40 AM

I assume (and you should clarify) that you mean the top playwright based on plays they wrote during the last 60 years ? If so it is hard to justify Terence Rattigan being on this list as almost all of his greatest plays were written before 1952. If on the other hand you mean the lifetime work of writers who lived into the last 60 years then Noel Coward should have displaced Rattigan.

#3 Lynette

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:42 AM

Of course for the very best of all we must look to America. Arthur Miller.

#4 Epicoene

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:23 AM

Just to follow up on Rattigan, I think it is impossible to argue that based on the plays he wrote after 1952 (we're just talking about Separate Tables and Cause Celebre and some minor works) he deserves a place on the list above Peter Shaffer, or Michael Frayn, or Peter Nichols even.

If it is "writers who happened to be alive during the last 60 years" then J.B.Priestly should ceratianly displace many of the current list (Edward Bond, for example).

#5 mallardo

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:10 PM

I see that Alan Ayckbourn and Joe Orton seem to be running away with it.  I'm, frankly, astonished.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.

#6 Epicoene

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:34 PM

View Postmallardo, on 01 June 2012 - 01:10 PM, said:

I see that Alan Ayckbourn and Joe Orton seem to be running away with it.  I'm, frankly, astonished.

Agree on Orton, such a minor playwright. However, I'd guess in terms of popularity (number of people who have seen and enjoyed his plays) Ayckbourn is far and away the leader of that particular pack. The top of the list should be Pinter - no question.

#7 admin

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:08 PM

Hi all - we deliberated with Rattigan but felt he merited inclusion due to the works he published in the 50s and the influence he continues to exert (especially in light of the recent revival of interest in him). But yes, Frayn/Shaffer/Kane - there are plenty of other names from our longlist that we could have included.

Thanks for your input, please keep voting!

#8 Honoured Guest

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:27 PM

To the Jubilee 60 list, I'd unquestionably add Jonathan Harvey and I'd argue for John Arden and Catherine Johnson.

To make space, I'd unquestionably remove Kwame Kwei-Armah and I'd argue against Tim Firth and John Mortimer.

View PostEpicoene, on 01 June 2012 - 11:23 AM, said:

Rattigan ... [doesn't] deserve a place on the list above Peter Shaffer, or Michael Frayn, or Peter Nichols even.

If it is "writers who happened to be alive during the last 60 years" then J.B.Priestly should ceratianly displace many of the current list (Edward Bond, for example).

I'd rank Edward Bond way over JB Priestley, Peter Shaffer and Peter Nichols, but the interest in these polls is seeing where the mass of votes fall and attempting to fathom the voters' reasons!

#9 armadillo

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 05:25 AM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 01 June 2012 - 10:27 PM, said:




I'd rank Edward Bond way over JB Priestley, Peter Shaffer and Peter Nichols, but the interest in these polls is seeing where the mass of votes fall and attempting to fathom the voters' reasons!

See I'd rank Priestley far above any of those. But then I've never heard of Jonathan Harvey (and nothing except a rubbish sitcom on his wikipedia page rings any bells at all) so what do I know?

Arnold Wesker won't be pleased  :lol:

#10 Epicoene

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 01:48 PM

View Postadmin, on 01 June 2012 - 02:08 PM, said:

Hi all - we deliberated with Rattigan but felt he merited inclusion due to the works he published in the 50s and the influence he continues to exert (especially in light of the recent revival of interest in him).

The "recent revival of interest" in him (which was actually due to it being the centenary of his birth last year) is surely supremely irrelevant when looking at a 60 year span ? - but twas ever thus, the "50 best albums of all time" compiled by callow youths working for the newspapers are always heavily biased towards the last 10 years.

But anyway, off you go, explain to me why Rattigan's two decent plays of the 1950's outrank Peter Shaffer's entire lifetime's work.




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