The Theatre of D.H. Lawrence: Dramatic Modernist and Theatrical Innovator

Author(s): James Moran

Literary theory

This is the first major book-length study for four decades to examine the plays written by D. H. Lawrence, and the first ever book to give an in-depth analysis of Lawrence's interaction with the theatre industry during the early twentieth century. It connects and examines his performance texts, and explores his reaction to a wide-range of theatre (from the sensation dramas of working-class Eastwood to the ritual performances of the Pueblo people) in order to explain Lawrence's contribution to modern drama. F. R. Leavis influentially labelled the writer 'D. H. Lawrence: Novelist'. But this book foregrounds Lawrence's career as a playwright, exploring unfamiliar contexts and manuscripts, and drawing particular attention to his three most successful works: The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, The Daughter-in-Law, and A Collier's Friday Night. It examines how Lawrence's novels are suffused with theatrical thinking, revealing how Lawrence's fictions - from his first published work to the last story that he wrote before his death - continually take inspiration from the playhouse. The book also argues that, although Lawrence has sometimes been dismissed as a restrictively naturalistic stage writer, his overall oeuvre shows a consistent concern with theatrical experiment, and manifests affinities with the dramatic thinking of modernist figures including Brecht, Artaud, and Joyce. In a final section, the book includes contributions from influential theatre-makers who have taken their own cue from Lawrence's work, and who have created original work that consciously follows Lawrence in making working-class life central to the public forum of the theatre stage.


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The first book-length study to examine the plays written by D.H. Lawrence alongside the films inspired by his novels.

James Moran is Head of Drama in the School of English Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is the author of The Theatre of Sean O'Casey (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2013). His other books include: Staging the Easter Rising (2005), and as editor Four Irish Rebel Plays (2007).

Acknowledgements Foreword by Sir Richard Eyre Synopsis Introduction. The Significance of Lawrence's Plays: Shifts in Reputation from 1930 to 2014 Chapter 1. Writing Lawrence's Plays: Becoming a Dramatist, 1885 to 1910 Chapter 2. The Frustration of Staging: Dramatic Struggles, 1911 to 1930 Chapter 3. The Drama of Lawrence's Prose Fiction: the Playwright as Novelist Chapter 4. Lawrence's Theatrical Development: Realist and Experimentalist Crosscurrents Chapter 5. A Director's Perspective: Peter Gill, in Conversation with James Moran Chapter 6. A Playwright's Perspective: Stephen Lowe Chapter 7. A Screenwriter's Perspective: William Ivory Chapter 8. A Postcolonial Perspective: Soudabeh Ananisarab Conclusion Appendix: Timeline Endnotes Bibliography Index

General Fields

  • : 9781472570376
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Methuen Drama
  • : November 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 264
  • : James Moran
  • : Paperback