Theatre Royal: 100 Years of Stratford East

Michael Coren, Author Quartet Books (UK) $0 (115p) ISBN 978-0-7043-2474-9
Stratford East is best known as the home of the Theatre Workshop, an innovative group that created such revolutionary productions as Oh What a Lovely War and Fings Ain't Wot They Used t'be in the 1950s and '60s under the leadership of visionary director Joan Littlewood. British journalist Coren covers the theater's early years and the struggle since Littlewood's departure to maintain a viable playhouse despite financial difficulties and inchoate artistic policies. Unfortunately, he retells the Theatre Royal's history so superficially that the reader gains little information from his book except a list of names and dates. The evidence of hasty research is everywhere: page-long quotes (in a 100-page book) from press reviews rather than cogent summaries, and a narrative that whizzes through factual material without probing the complex personalities and issues involved. Those interested in Stratford East should seek out Howard Goorney's more thoughtful 1981 account, The Theatre Workshop Story. December 4
Reviewed on: 01/01/1984
Release date: 01/01/1984
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