Two books that I contributed to have arrived within days of each other. And they look pretty handsome, I’m pleased to say.
The first is The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance,
which has a handful of entries by me, mostly on contemporary British
playwrights. It’s a pretty great-looking volume, I think, and it’s
certainly the one I’ll keep on my shelf for reference. It’s an
abridgement of the rather unwieldy two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance that came out in 2003. I hope there will be a paperback edition of the Companion because it really is the book for literary editors, drama students and informed theatregoers to have to hand.
The second book I made a rather more substantial contribution to. It’s the Routledge Drama Anthology and Sourcebook: From Modernism to Contemporary Performance. I wrote the introduction to the section on Naturalism and Symbolism. I also translated Maurice Materlinck’s Interior,
his essay ‘Tragedy in Everyday Life’ and Pierre Quillard’s letter ‘On
the Complete Pointlessness of Accurate Staging’. I loved writing that
introduction; just love that period in theatre history, the budding
excitement of the independent theatres, the emergence of Modernism, the
battles in the press, the booing, heckling audiences, and more. My
original draft of the introduction was twice as long as it was meant to
be and was cruelly - okay, necessarily - cut down. I may post up the
‘writer’s cut’ in a few months; it has some more intriguing curlicues.
Very pleasing the see these books out and I’m proud to have contributed to both.