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Download One Million Tiny Plays About Britain epub

by Craig Taylor

Download One Million Tiny Plays About Britain epub
ISBN: 074759791X
ISBN13: 978-0747597919
Category: No category
Author: Craig Taylor
Language: English
Publisher: Bloomsbury (2009)
ePUB size: 1903 kb
FB2 size: 1239 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 717
Other Formats: mobi lrf rtf doc

I chose this book because I like reading all things about Britain.
I enjoyed the slice-of-life aspect. it's a fast read.
I intend to pass it on to a young playwright, who may see in it the potential
for her own tiny plays about her world.
These are delightfully short playlets originally featured in standalone pieces in the Guardian newspaper. Collected in one volume, this compilation offers a glimpse of the mundane through the snatches of everyday dialogue around Britain (which the playwright supposedly overheard), which ranges from the uproariously funny to the touchingly tender.

Each of the 94 playlets are numbered, with a short description, and this rather concise introduction works surprisingly well, as the reader launches straight into the midst of the dialogue and discover what the issue is. It could be an insight into the social mores, like the two elderly women who fight to pay for tea at a cafe in Lichfield, till the politeness turns into something of a power struggle.

In another snippet, a young man tries to sell his copy of a Bob Dylan album at a used record shop in Derby, and unwittingly upsets the guy behind the counter,a serious music aficionado who is shocked with his lackadaisal attitude to what he obviously esteems as high art. However, the young man fails to see what the fuss is about:

Tim: Not a big fan of him.
Bill: 'Him'? Sort of like saying you're not a fan of breathing.
Tim: I never heard anything by Breathing.

A businessman, Alan, laments about his foreign domestic help to his friend Gordon. When he refers to her as Latvia, Gordon is surprised, and Alan explains: "I just think it's disrespectful when you don't know how to say someone's name properly. So this works."

In capturing what people say in a direct manner, Taylor manages to reveal how sometimes we say more than we know, and are none the wiser for how transparent and contradictory we are. The plays work because they make an acute observation of how people talk but fail to communicate, or even if they do, they listen only to what they want to, filtering out the rest.
All human life is here. People at bus stops, people in shops, people on public transport and in restaurants; people talking at cross purposes and people having arguments; angry people, happy people, sad people, disappointed people. All the little plays in this collection are very short as the title suggests but all portray a slice of life. Some are funny and some are sad and some quite chilling - the man talking to the animal rights campaigners is scary as are the two young men talking about stabbing someone.

You might hear the same sort of conversations in your daily life and the author has a gift for making them come alive so that you can imagine them actually taking place and almost hear the dialogue. I found this book compulsive reading and had to go on to the next one even though I kept thinking I'd save some for later. It is a good book to dip into because each play is complete in itself and would be an idea book to read during a daily commute.
I am hcv men
This is a brilliant little tome that whizzes past you in tidily packaged playlets. The stories cover a wide area of themes but almost always hint at a certain darkness present in modern-day British life. Whether it be the war in Iraq/Afghanistan, ageism, sexism, racism, classism, adultery, criminality, or just plain passive-aggressive competition between individuals, we are treated to a whirlwind tour of the social complexities facing late Blair-era Britain. Would have given it 5 stars but the relative lack of humor and optimism in the playlets left a sort of bitter aftertaste.
I am a huge fan of Craig Taylor's book "Londoners," and I really enjoyed this book as well. It consists of a bunch of mini-plays detailing random slices of life from all across Britain. Think of it as small snippets of conversation you overhear as you go about your day-to-day life. Some of the plays are a few pages long; some are only a few sentences long. However, they all paint a realistic and comprehensive picture of what life is like in contemporary Britain. This is a quick and enjoyable read.
After reading these short plays/scenes/monologues in the Guardian newspaper, it is great to see them all brought together in one compilation. These 95 little fragments of contemporary life in Britain aren't always all linked to each other, but Craig Taylor still creates threads of story lines that expand beyond each individual scene. Each character Taylor presents is distinct, recognisable, sometimes likable and sometimes detestable, but always fascinating.

I recently directed a production of this (licensed by the Wylie Agency) at a school as a 6-hander (although it could easily be performed with less), and what the cast found most interesting, apart from the opportunity to play multiple and varied roles is the mixture of the comic and the tragic. Sometimes the mix is uncomfortable, as even the most comic scenes seem to be tinged with tragedy. Even in quick scenes Taylor opens windows to characters lives and we as a reader, or as an audience, are momentarily invited in, before they are once again slammed shut.

I would highly recommend this book, but due to the nature of having 95 short, often disconnected scenes, it does make for a challenge to stage.