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Topic Summary

Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: May 23, 2008, 04:57:06 PM »

Andy McSmith writes in the open forum of The Independent

"Mark Ravenhill writes a fulsome tribute in today's Independent to the brilliant, difficult, half-forgotten playwright, Edward Bond. He points out that the late Sarah Kane shared his enthusiasm. They are not alone. Laurence Olivier, Mary McCarthy and Bernard Levin, to name but three, acknowledged Bond as one of the greatest writers of his time. Yet his work is rarely produced, and people wonder why.

Years ago, I invited Bond to come and speak to students in Newcastle, and afterwards had the honour of buying the great man a drink. As I handed it over, I ventured a tentative view on a matter to do with the theatre. Bond, who was about a foot shorter than me, looked up, curled his lip, and replied: "I suppose such naivety is forgiveable is one so young." Then he complained that the audience at his talk had been smaller than he expected and he turned away, taking with him that pint I had bought him.

This inclines me to agree with the veteran theatre director Max Stafford Clark that Bond's work has been undervalued because its author is so cantankerous that no one can work with him.