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HE wrote a couple of plays - Murder in the Cathedral (1935) a historical play in verse about T.Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the philosophical comedies The Family Reunion (1939) and The Coctail Party (1950).
The beginning of the twentieth century brought the culmination of the Irish National Renaissance, the movement of reestablishing Irish national culture and language. The Abbey Theatre was opened.
John Millington Synge (1871-1909) represented Irish contemporary heroes, ordinary country people. He wrote comedies - The Shadow of the Glen (1903) and a one-act drama Riders to the Sea (1904).
Sean O`Casey (1880-1964) is the representing the younger generation of Irish dramatists. His plays mix tragedy and comedy. His characters are mainly tragic women-characters-Irish urban or peasant women caught in a political struggle they are not responsible for. Plays: The Shadow of a Gunman (1923) and The Plough and the Stars (1926).
John Osborne (1929-1994) wrote the play Look Back in Anger, staged by English Stage Company. He was one of the group known as “Angry Young Men”. This play deals with the alienation of a young man from the social conventions of middle-class society. Jimmy Porter became a prototype of a man who is in permanent opposition to everything which represents the old hypocritical establishment. Others are The Entertainer (1957), Luther (1961). Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) was the main representative of “The Theatre of the Absurd”. His first novel was experimental Murphy (1938), then Malone Dies (1951) and The Unnameable (1953). His most famous play was Waiting for Godot (1952). This made him famous as a witty and powerful playwright. He influenced a younger generation of English dramatists such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard.
Joe Orton (1933-1967) wrote “sick comedies” with intricate, subtle plots. He displays very sick jokes, paradoxical situations and open demonstrations of sexuality. His first play was Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1964), brother and sister come to an agreement to take turns in sleeping with the young man who has just murdered their father. The others were Loot (1965) and What the Butler Saw (1969).
In the late 1960s many small alternative theatres, “The Fringe” appeared. They offered a more experimental approach to theatre. The growth of the radio and the television play has made drama financially attractive to many writers. Even many famous dramatists write successful plays for radio and television.
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