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Straight Acting Popular Gay Drama from Wilde to Rattigan cover
  • ISBN: 9780304328642
  • ISBN10: 0304328642

Straight Acting Popular Gay Drama from Wilde to Rattigan

by Sean OConnor

  • List Price: $17.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Continuum Intl Pub Group
  • Publish date: 11/01/1997
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Description
A collection of fascinating essays covering such established classics as Private Lives, The Deep Blue Sea and Blithe Spirit as well as lesser-known works.

Between the trials of Oscar Wilde in the 1890s and the beginnings of reform in the 1960s, London's West End stage was dominated by the work of gay playwrights. Many of the plays such as Private Lives, The Deep Blue Sea and Blithe Spirit are established classics and continue to inform our culture. In a collection of fascinating essays covering both famous and lesser-known works, Sean O'Connor examines the legacy of Wilde as a playwright and as a gay man, and explores the resonance of his agenda for tolerance and his creed of individuality in the works of Somerset Maughan, Noel Coward and Terrence Rattigan. O'Connor contextualizes these plays against the enormous social and historical changes of the 20th Century. He also examines the legal innovations which regulated the personal lives of these writers and necessitated the evolution of sophisticated strategies enabling them to express on stage, albeit obliquely, their dilemmas as gay men.

From the delicate homoerotic frissons of Rattigan's early comedies to Noel Coward's defiantly pro-sex stance, Straight Acting is a provocative and witty insight into the subtly subversive tactics of gay writers working in that apparently most conservative of forms, the 'well-made play'.

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