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Overview

war establishment

The level of equipment and manning laid down for a military unit in wartime.

Oh What a Lovely War

Oh What a Lovely War (1963)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... 1917 : still stalemate, as the battlefields become a sea of mud. 1918 : the warring nations all look forward to victory, and the soldiers advance, baa-ing like sheep. In this collectively devised piece, Joan Littlewood with her left-wing Theatre Workshop members created one of the most powerful commentaries on the First World War. By juxtaposing popular song with the horrors of war, the empty optimism of the leaders with mass slaughter, and the profits made by the Establishment with the realities of trench warfare, the piece does not offer a balanced view...

Love of a Good Man, The

Love of a Good Man, The (1978)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...Warrior. Mrs Toynbee holds a séance, the mentally disturbed War Graves Commissioner Bride shoots himself, and the Prince of Wales declares his love for Mrs Toynbee. The cemetery completed, everyone returns to England – or Ireland. The grotesque humour of this powerful satire of the Establishment is reminiscent of Bond's Early Morning . It shows how the ‘love of a good man’ for his country can be exploited in the defence of Empire that led to the slaughter of millions in the First World War and will continue the killing in Ireland. Hacker sums it up...

Kitchen, The

Kitchen, The (1959)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...to hospital. Provoked by a trivial quarrel with a waitress, Peter vents all his pent-up frustration, smashing crockery and slashing his hands. Mr Marango, who considers himself a good employer, wonders why his staff would want to sabotage his establishment. This play is remarkable in taking the realism of post-war British theatre towards almost total naturalism. Ideally to be played without an interval (although Wesker ‘recognizes the wish of theatre bars to make some money’), the author, who had himself worked as a pastry-cook, reproduces the frenetic...

Toller

Toller (1968)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...trans. Genre: Hist. drama in 30 scenes; German prose Setting/time of action: Various locations in Munich, 1919 , and USA, 1939 Cast: 28 actors, playing over 50 roles In the political vacuum following the defeat of Germany in the First World War, the revolutionary poet Erich Mühsam proclaims the establishment of a Councils' Republic in Bavaria on 6 April 1919 . The Central Council comprises a motley collection of intellectuals, workers, and peasants, and appoint as its chairman Ernst Toller, a young Jewish playwright and poet. Eugen Leviné, a Russian...

Serjeant Musgrave's Dance

Serjeant Musgrave's Dance (1959)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (2 ed.)

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...recruiting for the army. The town is in unrest, with striking miners rebelling against the forces of law and order: the Parson, the Constable, and the Mayor, who is also the mine owner. The miners are concerned that the soldiers have come to break the strike, while the Establishment figures welcome the recruiters, hoping that they will ‘get rid o' the troublemakers’. The soldiers lodge at an inn, and Sparky reveals that they have taken part in an atrocity in the colonies. The recruiting meeting will be an opportunity for them to tell the English citizens...

Look Back in Anger

Look Back in Anger (1956)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...1950s Cast: 3m, 2f On a typical English Sunday, Jimmy Porter and his friend Cliff Lewis read newspapers and converse desultorily, while Jimmy's wife Alison is ironing. Jimmy, owner of a sweet-stall, sneers at Alison's upper-class family and fulminates against the British Establishment: ‘Nobody thinks, nobody cares. No beliefs, no convictions and no enthusiasm.’ In a mock-fight with Cliff, Jimmy knocks over the ironing board, and Alison's arm gets burnt. Jimmy goes out, while Cliff comforts Alison, who reveals that she is pregnant but afraid to tell Jimmy....

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