Kenneth Tynan: A Life (Paperback)
  • Kenneth Tynan: A Life (Paperback)
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Kenneth Tynan: A Life (Paperback)

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£31.00
Paperback 428 Pages / Published: 13/02/2012
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Kenneth Tynan (1927-1980) lived one of the most intriguing theatre lives of the twentieth century. A brilliant writer, critic and agent provocateur he made friends or enemies of nearly every major actor, playwright, impresario and movie mogul of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Working on each side of the Atlantic during various periods in his career, Tynan wrote for the 'Evening Standard', the 'Observer' and the 'New Yorker'; was lured by Laurence Olivier in the early 1960s to become dramaturge of Britain's newly formed National Theatre; and spent his final years in Los Angeles. This biography offers the first complete appraisal of Tynan's powerful contribution to post-war British theatre, set against the context of the fifties, sixties and seventies and of his own turbulent life. Shellard probes beneath the celebrity myths to uncover Tynan the private man and theatre genius. He draws on Tynan's own extensive personal papers and diaries, taped interviews with theatre professionals who knew him and fascinating letters to such correspondents as Tennessee Williams, Marlene Dietrich, George Devine, Peter Brook, Alec Guinness and Terence Rattigan. Shellard highlights Tynan's early writings, when the brilliant young critic came to national prominence, and discusses how Tynan gained a left-wing readership, took his place at the vanguard of the new realist movement, and helped to establish subsidized theatre. He shows how, through indefatigable battles against theatre censorship and railings against the myopia of a politically and culturally insular Britain, Tynan helped create some of the most controversial theatrical events of the 1960s and 70s, including 'Oh Calcutta!'. Exploring the public and private sides of Tynan, Shellard reveals an outspoken, explicit and sometimes savage critic who ranks among the most influential theatre figures of the twentieth century. Dominic Shellard was Reader in English Literature at the University of Sheffield. Educated at Oxford, he is the author of 'Shakespeare: A Writer's Life' (1998), 'British Theatre Since the War' (1999) and two volumes on the critic Harold Hobson (1995).

Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300187533
Number of pages: 428
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 22 mm

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