Read Plays 2: The Restoration of Arnold Middleton / In Celebration / The March on Russia by David Storey Free Online
Book Title: Plays 2: The Restoration of Arnold Middleton / In Celebration / The March on Russia|
The author of the book: David Storey
Date of issue: August 30th 1994
ISBN 13: 9780413686107
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 32.28 MB
Edition: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama
Read full description of the books Plays 2: The Restoration of Arnold Middleton / In Celebration / The March on Russia:"The Restoration of Arnold Middleton" is the earliest, and the best, play in this collection. In fact there was such a discrepancy of style between Middleton and the other two works that I found it hard to believe that they were written by the same man. The less exciting plays were both rather dull English family tales, full of monologues and lacking in dramatic action. The good one was written when the author was 28 and went unproduced for several years before it finally made a big splash on the stage. Storey was also a professional rugby player and is best known for his novel "This Sporting Life."
Middleton is the witty and confusing story of an odd, bombastic schoolteacher who lives with his wife and her mother. His wife is at odds with the both of them, and Middleton blatantly flirts with his mother-in-law. Some of the story (and there isn't much of one) deals with a coat of armor that Middleton has brought home with him. It is a tribute to the verve of the dialogue and screwy relationships of the story that the play is fascinating in spite of its lack of a plot. A couple of other characters show up: one of Middleton's colleagues, a suave fellow named Hanson who brings along one of their young female students that he plans to bed. Middleton gives the okay to have the dirty deed done in his home, but all of the characters end up getting drunk together and behaving ridiculously, and it is unclear how things turn out. Can you imagine something like this happening these days? I can't.
Middleton is blatantly jealous of his colleague's good fortune, and Mrs. Middleton is jealous of her mother for the attention she is drawing from her husband. The characters break into hilarious doggerel and make goofy comments whose meanings are hard to make out. The piece has a light, irreverent, sixties feel and seems to be influenced by the theatre of the absurd movement of the fifties. In the end there is a revelation about the main character, but this "resolution" seems more like an excuse to end the proceedings than a convincing conclusion. Despite this, the play is a classic piece of English eccentricity and remains full of lively, weird fun from beginning to end. It would be interesting to see this on stage, but it is so English that I doubt it ever gets performed in the USA.
Read information about the authorDavid Storey was an English playwright, screenwriter, award-winning novelist and a former professional rugby league player. Storey was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1933, and studied at the Slade School of Art. His first two novels were both published in 1960, a few months apart: This Sporting Life, which won the Macmillan Fiction Award and was adapted for an award-winning 1963 film, and Flight Into Camden, which won the Somerset Maugham Award. His next novel, Radcliffe (1963) met with widespread critical acclaim in both England and the United States, and during the 1960s and 70s, Storey became widely known for his plays, several of which achieved great success. He returned to fiction in 1972 with Pasmore, which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Saville (1976) won the Booker Prize and has been hailed by at least one critic as the best of all the Booker winners. His most recent novel was Thin-Ice Skater (2004). David Storey lived in London. He was married and had four children.
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