This is the first comprehensive study of Brecht's Mother Courage. Peter Thomson locates the sources of the play in Brecht's own experience and heritage, and provides a detailed account of Brecht's own production with the newly formed Berliner Ensemble in 1949. Thomson then explores how the play has been transmitted in the English-speaking theatre from Joan Littlewood's production with the Theatre Workshop Company in 1956 to the Royal National Theatre, with Diana Rigg as Mother Courage, in 1995. The book also examines such influential interpretations as those by William Gaskill, Judi Dench, and Glenda Jackson in the English theatre, and by Herbert Balu and Richard Schechner in America. Seminal productions in France and the Germanies are also discussed. A final chapter highlights the new urgency of the text in light of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and closes with an account of a triumphant staging in Uganda.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press