Biographical Plays about Famous Artists
Since the late 1970s, more than 200 biographical plays about famous artists (composers, fine artists, poets, actors etc.) were written and staged in the United Kingdom. The book analyses the range of these plays, arguing that the dramatists often place the main artist character(s) in an adverse situation, inward (e.g., mental illness) or outward (a personal enemy, or an anonymous power, such as war). Against the background of such adverse forces, the artist characters tend come across as flawed human beings. At the same time, most plays take care to provide good insights into the artists genius and their artistic integrity in the face of the adversity. The book also addresses the question why there have been so many biographical plays about famous artists over the past twenty-five years, providing answers in the context of theatre history and developments across academic disciplines and society as a whole.
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actor admiring identification Amadeus audience audience’s Author Title Beecham biographical plays Bronte sisters Byron Central Publication Source characterised Chhandas compassion composers CONSTANZE contrast David Garrick David Pownall death devata develop Dr Feldmann dramatists dream Dresser Duet Edith Piaf Elsa emotional famous artists George Eliot Heroes historical Hollywood human idealising illusions impact interaction LCP,P Lear Leonard Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Master Class mental illness Miss Helen monologue Mozart Mozart’s music O’Brien opera Owen Owen’s Pam Gems passage peak experience Piaf’s Play Central Publication play’s plays about famous poetry poets Prakriti Prokofiev Prokofiev and Shostakovich Publication Source artist realises reality rishi Salieri Samhita Sassoon scene Shaffer Shelley Shostakovich shows sing Sir’s Source artist character spectator’s spectators Stalin Stephanie Abrahams Stephanie’s Stephen MacDonald stranger sympathetic identification Tales from Hollywood theatre Title of Play Tom and Viv Veda Vedic Science Virginia Woolf Vita Sackville-West Wolfit writing Zhdanov