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Nine Plays by Will Stuart

Nine Plays by Will Stuart

Edited with an Introduction by Ian Heames & with

an Afterword by J.H. Prynne  (Face Press, Cambridge 2014)

 

After reading these fascinating pieces of dramatic realisation one comes across Jeremy Prynne’s concluding comments:

 

‘This suite of recently composed performance scripts is instructively hard to categorise’.

 

Hooray, I thought, no box to simply pack these into then! And the opening sentence of that Afterword took me back to re-read Ian Heames’s Introduction which in a way set the scene in a very appropriate manner:

 

‘A book of plays in which characters can stand on-stage not really playing their parts casts the familiar role of a general introduction in an awkward light. In the context of the work that follows, the usual range of opening manoeuvres would be a dress-rehearsal for the wrong occasion.’

 

Of course Samuel Beckett’s ghost haunts the wings of this display and the merging of lyrical intensity with a breath-taking awareness of what constitutes loss is a hallmark of much of the writing here:

 

‘The past. What is it? What is the past? The past, what is it? What is the past? The past is a present. It is a no-longer-useable present. Gone and forgotten. Gone and not forgotten.’

 

Prynne’s comments are instructive as they direct us to another haunting presence:

 

‘The emotional carapace overall that encloses precarious life is assembled from off-the-peg elysian fancies that are profoundly tested e.g. against the lyrical reticence of Thomas Hardy, poet: in the more distant background lurk parody dinosaurs dressed up as a light blend of Harold Beckett and Samuel Pinter; not to mention Lucian and Ovid in deeper shade.’

 

A fascinating volume…get it…

http://face-press.org/nine-plays.html

 

Ian Brinton 9th June 2014

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