How Plays Work

How Plays Work

Paperback Nick Hern Books

By (author) David Edgar

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  • Publisher: NICK HERN BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 136mm x 214mm x 20mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 10 June 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1854593714
  • ISBN 13: 9781854593719
  • Sales rank: 52,900

Product description

Distinguished playwright David Edgar examines the mechanisms and techniques which dramatists throughout the ages have employed to structure their plays and to express their meaning. Written for playwrights and playgoers alike, Edgar's analysis starts with the building blocks of whole plays - plot, character creation, genre and structure - and moves on to scenes and devices. He shows how plays share a common architecture without which the uniqueness of their authors' vision would be invisible. What does King Lear have in common with Cinderella? What does Jaws owe to Ibsen? From Aeschylus to Alan Ayckbourn, from Chekhov to Caryl Churchill, are there common principles by which all plays work? "How Plays Work" is a masterclass for playwrights and playmakers and a fascinating guide to the anatomy of drama.

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Author information

David Edgar pioneered the teaching of playwriting in the UK, founding the Playwriting Studies course at Birmingham University in 1989. He is also a leading playwright, best known for his political plays - amongst them Destiny, Maydays, Pentecost, and Playing with Fire - and for his adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby for the RSC.