Jeremy Treglown

Theatre and Metatheatre

The Ornament of Action: Text and Performance in Restoration Comedy

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Metafictional Characters in Modern Drama

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Harold Pinter’s two most recent plays have both been supplied with a part-ironic kind of self-definition by their casting. No Man’s Land is an allusive work, full of references to literature outside itself, integrated with a deftness that makes Stoppard, by contrast, look like The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations; but the strongest reference is the one not mentioned in the dialogue, to David Storey’s Home, with its melancholy, self-fabricating, genteel old men locked in an old people’s home with two obscene old women. It was in Home, of course, that Richardson and Gielgud did their first geriatric duo, an act repeated in No Man’s Land.

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