Author Topic: Bond Resources  (Read 9049 times)

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Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Bond Resources - What's the difference between drama and theatre?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 05:02:45 PM »
An article looking at Bond's view of theatre and drama, but not very well written and few insights by the author
From The Guardian blog
www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2008/jan/09/whatsthedifferencebetweend


(Photograph: Eamonn McCabe)

"...Bond was speaking of a production of his play The Woman, which he directed at the National: "I went back to see it after it had been playing for a week and the actors were doing it as if it were Tom Stoppard. They were doing 'theatre'. But drama is not 'theatre'." You could almost hear his disgust."

"It seems that Bond has a very specialised definition of "theatre", one that comprehends the entire art form as, heaven forbid, a kind of meta-Tom Stoppard play. But his comment gave me pause, because this distinction between "drama" and "theatre" is one I've heard many times before, and almost always from writers.

The implication usually is that, while "theatre" is a vacuous, commercial or essentially trivial enterprise, Drama transcends theatre's vulgar origins and leaps into Art... Drama, we are given to understand, is Serious.  ...Critic Hans-Thies Lehmann coined the term "post-dramatic theatre" to describe a shift in practice away from a hierarchical model, with the writer (usually a dead writer) at the apex and the director interpreting the writer's "intention". As an aside, it's probably rather easy to know a writer's intention if he or she is dead and unable to argue: like Humpty Dumpty's vocabulary, it means just what you choose it to mean.

In the post-dramatic theatre, the place of the writer is less easily defined, with the creative emphasis equally existing in the contributions of other theatre-makers... the term has also been applied to the writer-centric theatre of playwrights such as Sarah Kane or Howard Barker. Does this mean these writers are not dramatists?..."



The discussion following the article is more interesting


"I am actually most interested in the question of why writers so often feel embattled in the theatre, which is what I believe leads to this self-aggrandisement, and this dismissal of the other aspects of making theatre. I don't think there's any question that many writers do feel embattled. Albee is another writer who claims that theatre serves the writer's intention, and only the writer's intention...

This divides the theatre into the "primary" creator (The Dramatist) and the secondary interpreters - actors, directors, et al. I just don't think that is a true view of what makes theatre tick: actors are as much primary creators as writers are, only they do a lot of their creating right in real time, in front of the audience. If this isn't interesting to a writer, why not just write novels, where one has that total imaginative control? Why work in a place like the theatre, which is full of the messiness of other human beings?"
« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 05:05:25 PM by Iain Fisher »

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Bond Resources
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 10:13:04 PM »
Interesting video trailer for two Bond Plays It's the End of the World As We Know It: by Rude Guerrilla Theatre.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKZ8jwiw0NE

Wish I had seen the production.

Offline Iain Fisher

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French Resources
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2008, 10:09:51 PM »
Discussion in French on Chaise

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhaXFdRrvO4

Offline Iain Fisher

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good biography
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2008, 06:45:48 PM »
There is an useful biography here

www.answers.com/topic/edward-bond

"... Edward Bond was born on 18July 1934 into a working class family in Holloway, North London. As a child during World War II he was evacuated to the countryside where his exposure to the violence and terror of war shaped themes in his work. At fifteen he left school and worked in factories and offices, followed by two years in the British Army.
...

Bond's first produced play, The Pope’s Wedding, was given as a Sunday night "performance without décor" at the Court in 1962[1]. This is a naturalistic drama set in then contemporary Essex. Bond's next play, Saved (1965) put him on the map theatrically as well as becoming one of the best known cause célèbres in 20th century theatre history. Saved delves into the lives of a selection of working class South London youths, who, suppressed by a brutal economic system, have lost sight of their humanity and become immersed in promiscuity, co-dependence and murderous violence[2].

The outdated Theatres Act 1843 still required scripts to be submitted for approval by the Lord Chamberlain's Office. Saved included a scene featuring the stoning to death of a baby in its carriage. The Lord Chamberlain sought to censor it, but Bond refused to alter a word, claiming that removing this pivotal scene would alter the meaning of the play.
...

Bond also made some important contributions to the cinema. He wrote an adaptation of Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark (1968, dir. Tony Richardson) and the aborigine drama Walkabout (1971, dir. Nicolas Roeg); as well as contributing dialogue to Blow-Up (1966, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni) and Nicholas and Alexandra (1971, dir. Franklin J. Schaffner).

...Bond's most recent contributions to British theatre have been for the Birmingham-based theatre-in-education company Big Brum. These have included At the Inland Sea (1995), in which a youth confronts the legacy of the holocaust; Eleven Vests (1997), on scholastic and military authoritarianism; and Have I None (2000), another futuristic parable. Also in 2000, The Children was performed and written for pupils at Manor Community College in Cambridge."

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Bond Resources
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2008, 05:08:43 PM »
Steve Cramer talks to Bond on children.  From The List (Issue 594, 17 Jan 2008)

www.list.co.uk/article/6105-edward-bond

EB: Human beings have a capacity, but not a need to be violent... I think there’s a very basic need in human beings, which is the passion for freedom.

SC In your 2000 play, The Children, here presented by Dundee Rep, you present a nightmare scenario of a bleak future for children in a technologised society. What’s your attitude to the young?

EB I write for children because children ask all the profound questions that philosophers ask– Plato and Aristotle and Kant and so on. They don’t have that academic language, but they ask the same things. They’re not actually asking what is the price of this in the shop, what is my mortgage going to be, what’s the rate of inflation. These might be absolutely vital questions for adults, but children are free enough to talk about freedom.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Bond Resources
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2008, 04:51:55 PM »
Michael Billington interviews Bond in The Guardian, 3 Jan 2008.

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/theatre/drama/story/0,,2234520,00.html#article_continue

'I'm an extremist," says Edward Bond, sitting in the study of the Cambridgeshire house where he has lived for the past 40 years. "I call myself an extremeophile." This leads the playwright into a series of pronouncements about life and drama that positively invite disagreement: "before 1956 all English plays were Home Counties rubbish", for instance. In an odd way, I am reminded of William Blake. Like Blake, Bond had little formal schooling: his agricultural-labourer father couldn't even read. And, although he doesn't share Blake's mysticism, Bond is a peculiarly visionary English artist who, like the poet, might claim: "I must Create a System or be enslav'd by another Man's."
...

Meeting Bond, one is struck by his self-certainty, which he says was there from an early age. "I knew roughly where I was going from the start, and conceived a whole series of plays. I began with English rural and urban life in The Pope's Wedding and Saved, moved on to the Far East in Narrow Road to the Deep North, and then found I had to face Lear. But I also wanted a play of resolution that would point to the moral and political paths people could take in the situation the world was in. That was The Sea, which is set in an East Anglian seaside village like the one to which I was evacuated during the war. It's a comedy that argues it is possible to change the world. One character says, 'All destruction is finally petty and in the end life laughs at death.'"

This is an important point to grasp about Bond. Often seen as a despairing nihilist whose plays are filled with images of violence, he retains a stubborn faith in humanity: what he calls the contradictions of "human-ness". The Sea, which deals with the war between a mad draper and a bullying lady of the manor, is extremely funny. Even Saved, containing the famous scene of a baby-stoning, which provoked outrage at the time, ends with its hero quietly mending a chair, and was once described by Bond as "almost irresponsibly optimistic". If Bond looks into the abyss, he also points to something beyond. "You have to see how people deal with crisis," he says. "But in the end you cannot despair. If you're going to despair, stop writing. If my plays are staged and acted in the way in which they are written, what comes across is a colossal affirmation of life."

Offline Iain Fisher

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Bond Resources
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2008, 04:43:55 PM »
A good overview of Bond and his work is by Kirsten Bowen here
www.amrep.org/articles/3_3a/morality.html

Good coverage of the plays and some interesting photos.  The overview includes:

"I write about violence as naturally as Jane Austen wrote about manners," Edward Bond confessed. Graphic violence runs through Bond's plays, but he uses it to provoke self-awareness, not shock. "Violence shapes and obsesses our society, and if we do not stop being violent we have no future. People who do not want writers to write about violence want to stop them writing about us and our time. It would be immoral not to write about violence."

The link between Bond and Sarah Kane is very clear from that quote and the photo of the pram being stoned (from Saved).  Now more on Saved, again compare with Sarah Kane's Blasted also at the Royal Court theatre:


"When the Royal Court produced Bond's Saved in 1965, a scandal erupted. Saved tells the story of youths, who, suppressed by a brutal economic system, become monsters.  Since the sixteenth century, plays for production were subject to the Lord Chamberlain's approval, although a loophole in the Licensing Act of 1737 allowed for private performances of unapproved plays, enabling London audiences to see Ibsen's Ghosts, Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge, and Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Among the many excisions the Lord Chamberlain demanded to Saved was the stoning to death of a baby in its carriage. Bond refused to alter a word, claiming that removing this pivotal scene would destroy the play. The Royal Court agreed, and so they became a temporary, members-only club, producing Saved as the "English Stage Society." The Lord Chamberlain prosecuted the English Stage Society, the first club to be arrested for producing a banned play. Despite a passionate defense from Laurence Olivier, then Artistic Director of the National Theatre, the court found the English Stage Society guilty and given a "conditional discharge" that promised severe consequences if they attempted to cross the Lord Chamberlain again.

More resources are welcome.

Iain
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 03:03:07 PM by Iain Fisher »