Download John Marston's plays: Theme, structure, and performance epub
by Michael Scott
'If directors can fundamentally disagree in their productions of drama and yet each produce a worthwhile performance, so dramatic critics should likewise be able to present totally different views about the nature of a Marston or a Shakespeare or a Chekhov play, in so far as in doing so they do not tamper with, or alter, that other component of the play, the text.' In this book Michael Scott tries to reconcile some of the recent arguments about the aims and tone of the plays of John Marston (1576-1634). He examines the relationship of theme and structure in the plays and its effect on the drama in production, seeing the role of the drama critic as similar to that of the theatre director. Working from the texts of the major plays, the opening chapters concentrate on possible interpretations derived from the relationship of Marston's thematic concerns with the dramatic structure. By connecting this sometimes strained relationship with the need for the plays to be performed, a line is gradually drawn which attempts to define how we should approach the individual works. The later chapters concentrate on the theatricality of the plays and the book concludes with a discussion of the major productions and adaptations of the works in England since Marston's day.