Now available in paperback, Played in Britain: Modern Theatre in 100 Plays explores the best and most influential plays from 1945 to date. Published in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Musuem and fully illustrated with photos from the V&A's collections and featuring a foreword by the late Richard Griffiths O.B.E., the book provides a sumptuous treat for theatre-lovers. It was awarded the 2014 David Bradby Award for research by the Theatre and Performance Research Association. Opening with J. B. Priestley's classic play from 1946, An Inspector Calls, and ending with Laura Wade's examination of class privilege and moral turpitude in Posh over 60 years later, Played in Britain offers a visual history of post-war theatre on the British stage. Arranged chrologically the featured plays illustrate and respond to a number of themes that animate post-war society: censorship and controversy; race and immigration; gender and sexuality; money and politics. An essay on each period first sets the context and explores trends, while the commentary accompanying each play illuminates the plot and themes, considers its original reception and subsequent afterlife, and finishes by suggesting other plays to explore. Photographs from the V&A's extensive collection illustrate each play, providing further insight into stage and costume designs, and include iconic images from the premieres of major plays such as Waiting for Godot and Look Back in Anger. Illustrated throughout with stage production photography, Played in Britain: Modern Theatre in 100 Plays presents a unique and visually stunning parama of key dramatic works produced in Britain over the past seventy years. From An Inspector Calls to The Rocky Horror Show, or Abigail's Party to Waiting for Godot, fresh light is thrown on the impact, aesthetics and essence of these key plays.
Kate Dorney is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Performance at the Victoria & Albert Theatre Collections, London, UK. She has authored books on modern British theatre and the arts. Frances Gray is former Reader in Drama at the University of Sheffield. She has published books on comedy, crime, John Arden and Noel Coward and writes plays for the stage and for radio. She has a Radio Times Award for radio comedy.