Elton Plays: 1

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Автор:Ben Elton
Издателство:Methuen Drama
Страници:255
Корици:меки
Година:1998
Броя:1
ISBN:9780413736703 Тегло (гр.): Формат: 115 / 165 Състояние: Мн. добро
Elton Plays: 1 / Ben Elton

Introduction
It is a real thrill for me to be able to welcome you to this omnibus edition of my first three plays. Although in fact these are not my first three plays at all, fortunately for you. My actual first play was called Once More With Feeling which I wrote when I was fifteen. It was a comedy set in an amateur dramatic society. Soon after that I wrote a lengthy drama about Stalin’s purges called The Bear Hunt and then an irreverent comedy about the life of Christ called Miracle Play. So whatever you may think of the plays in this volume, you can see how fortunate you are that at least they are not my first three plays.

These are my first three professionally produced plays and what I want to say is this, if you are putting any of them on, feel free to cut them and mess about with them as you wish. The texts reproduced here are of the plays as they were originally presented in London but personally I think that Gasping and Silly Cow are too long and can do with a bit of editing. I saw a production of Gasping recently in which they cut the squash scene altogether. They also cut the penultimate scene which takes place in the ‘breather tube’ but they took some of the dialogue from it to put into the final scene. I thought it worked very well and that the show was a lot pacier.

The first half of Silly Cow is all set up so it can drag a little. In a recent production the director took the decision to cut the interval and do it as a long one-act play. I think this is a much better idea but it does necessitate a bit of judicious editing. This is not an easy task with Silly Cow because most of what is said in the first half is a set-up for what happens in the second half, nonetheless if you can find a few cuts I suggest that you make them.
For me the main problem with Popcorn is that the ‘debate’ at the end can get a bit wordy. In the French production they got round this in a very creative way. In the play as I wrote it, the television camera is simply placed on stage and everybody plays to it. In Paris however, after a few lines of the debate Wayne grabbed the camera in frustration and shouted direcdy into it.

He then plonked the camera on Bill’s shoulder indicated that he should follow the dialogue from then on. From that point the ‘debate’ was mobile and physical and I thought much more exciting.

Well, just a few thoughts, thank you for reading my plays, I hope that you find them interesting and fun.
Ben Elton London August 1998

***
BEN ELTON ‘shows a genuine Jonsonian talent for seizing on a semi-absurd premise and extrapolating it with a crazy, iron logic’ Independent

Gasping: ‘An often hilarious satire on yuppicdom, advertising and corporate greed’ Daily Telegraph
Silly Cow: ‘Another perfect occasion for a Ben Elton satire on the modern world...it’s fast and slick. And what’s clever about that is that fastness and slickncss are what it satirises’ Financial Times
Popcorn: ‘Elton’s zinging, punchy thriller has a cartoon vigour and holster packed with smartmouthed one-liners but more surprisingly, it has the moral purpose of Jacobean revenge drama' Financial Times
DRAMA

Cover photograph: © Scope Features

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