The Play is the thing

So, I’m writing a play.  
I had a vague idea that adapting my long poem sequence, The Courtesans Reply, for stage would be fairly straightforward once I had the right equipment (books) and made the characters walk and talk. Obviously I was mistaken. It’s a foreign country with a strange climate.

Reading David Edgar’s ‘How Plays Work’ is a revelation:

Dr Johnson’s dictionary defines a play as: ‘A poem in which the action is not related, but represented; and in which therefore such rules are to be observed as make the representation probable.’


The playwright David Hare sees theatre as essentially metereological – like the weather, it happens when two fronts meet: what the actors are doing and what the audience is thinking.  The literary critic J.L. Styan insists that ‘the play is not on the stage but in the mind.  

This is incredibly exciting.  Though I find I’m only capable of moving in reverse.

One Response to The Play is the thing

  1. I think that the best explanation is Hare’s. As an actor I have found that theater is interactive. An actor of theater cannot help but wait for a laugh to end or feel the tear of an audience member. The play might be in the mind for the playwright, but the audience is there to watch the words- the inside of your mind. A play is meant to be watched and heard. It’s an experience!

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