Kenneth Tynan: A Life

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9780300099195: Kenneth Tynan: A Life

Kenneth Tynan (1927-1980) lived one of the most intriguing theatre lives of his 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. He wrote for the "Evening Standard", the "Observer", and the "New Yorker"; served 11 years as dramaturge for Britain's newly formed National Theatre, and spent his final years in Los Angeles. This biography, based on Tynan's own archive, offers an appraisal of Tynan's powerful contribution to post-war British theatre, set against the context of the fifties, sixties and seventies and his own turbulent life. Dominic Shellard probes beneath the celebrity myths surrounding Tynan to encounter the private man and theatre genius. He highlights Tynan's writings of 1952-1963, when the coruscating young critic came to prominence. He discusses how Tynan took his place at the vanguard of the new realist movement, helped to establish subsidised theatre, fought censorship, and assisted in the creation of such groundbreaking theatrical events as "Oh Calcutta!" in 1970. The volume seeks to reveal both the public and private Tynan, an outspoken, explicit and sometimes savage critic who became one of the most influential theatre figures of the 20th century.

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Also available by Dominic Shellard: British Theatre Since the War

About the Author:

Dominic Shellard is Reader in English Literature at the University of Sheffield. His previous book was British Theatre Since the War (ISBN 0 300 08737 3, paperback [pound]11.95*), also published by Yale University Press.

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