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Changing Stages - 1956
image map - timeline, map, resources, about changing stages
Between Brecth and Beckett
The Law of Gravity

In a land struggling for freedom, Irish writers gave birth to a new kind of theatre that would help change the destiny of a people.

Evening 2: Sunday, September 2, 9-11pm (E.T.) - CHANGING STAGES turns back to Britian between wars -- a glamorous era during which audiences did not wish to be reminded of the grim realities of World War 1, the agitation of the working classes, the economic gloom, or conservative political atmosphere of the 1930s. Playwrights Noel Coward and Terence Rattigan dominated this period, masterfully working within the confines of censorship, enchanting audiences with their sparkling wit, style and delicate naughtiness. After World War II, the growing fractures in society became impossible to ignore and it appeared that Britain's Empire days were gone for good. The British theater of the 1950s was still tongue-tied by class issues and censorship when "Look Back in Anger" opened at the Royal Court Theater in 1956, sending a shock wave through the stage world. John Osborne's play opened the floodgates for a generation of "angry young men," as well as a new kind of writing and a new confidence in the producing of plays. As CHANGING STAGES follows the new writing that emerged from the fog of post-war Britain, Eyre is joined in conversation by leading playwrights, actors and directors, many of whom experienced this revolution first-hand, including Vanessa Redgrave, Rodney Ackland, Alan Bates, Peter Hall, David Hare, Tom Stoppard, Peter Schaffer, Harold Pinter, and John Gielgud, in one of his last interviews.