Download Beckett on Screen: The Television Plays by Jonathan Bignell PDF

By Jonathan Bignell

This ground-breaking examine analyzes Beckett’s tv performs on the subject of the historical past and conception of tv. It argues that they're in discussion with cutting edge tv traditions hooked up to Modernism in tv, movie, radio, theatre, literature and the visible arts.

Using unique study from BBC information and manuscript resources, the e-book offers new views at the relationships among Beckett’s tv dramas and the broader tv tradition of england and Europe. It additionally compares and contrasts the performs for tv with Beckett’s movie and proclaims of his theatre paintings together with the new Beckett on movie season. Chapters take care of the creation strategy of the performs, the broadcasting contexts during which they have been screened, associations and authorship, the performs’ relationships with related courses and movies, and response to Beckett’s monitor paintings through audiences and critics.

It may be crucial examining in literature and drama stories, tv historiography and for devotees of Beckett’s work.

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Extra info for Beckett on Screen: The Television Plays

Sample text

The large theatrical movement and the open theatrical set in the first half as distinct from the restricted framing and limited expression of the second half represent a shift in the representational codes of the play and necessitate different responses from the audience. Indeed, the expectations on the audience’s part of what kind of drama this is must change radically. The first part might lead the viewer to believe that this is a non-naturalistic, theatrical drama in which the action must be read through a symbolic code rather than a naturalistic or psychological one.

As McMullan (1993: 21) argued of the theatre version, ‘strategies of representation, rather than producing knowledge, truth and enlightenment, are revealed as arbitrary mechanisms of discipline and control’. As Lawley points out (1984: 27–31), the story told by the characters revolves around sex, desire and betrayal, yet although the language of the text includes many clichéd references relating to the body and to bodily action, the absence of the performers’ bodies further reduces the depth and significance of bodiliness in the play.

Lewis explained that ‘the frequency of light going on and off with the entrance and exit of each player proved too distracting and had to be abandoned’. In Quad then, a broader use of production technologies for studio recording was envisaged, adding colour as a signifying system for the first part of the play and within this creating a systematised set of colour cues attached to the appearance and movement of the performers. But these additional resources that made the play at least assimilable into production conventions for the colour broadcasting of the time led to difficulties rather than opportunities.

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