Born OTD in 1943, writer & director of film & theatre, Mike Leigh. A keen observer of manners and mores, Mike Leigh has been hailed as a celebrator of “ordinary” people, yet it wasn’t until relatively recently that audiences have been able to appreciate the full body of his work. In discussing all his films from Bleak Moments & High Hopes through Naked, the Oscar-nominated Secrets and Lies & Topsy Turvy, to All or Nothing, Garry Watson considers this claim, examining the films’ influence & their effect.

At the same time, he takes on the very concepts of “the real” and “the ordinary” in regard to Leigh’s … More

First premiered OTD in Copenhagen in 1879, Henrik Ibsen’s, ‘A Doll’s House’. The play is significant for the way it deals with the fate of a married woman, who at the time in Norway lacked reasonable opportunities for self-fulfillment in a male-dominated world, despite the fact that Ibsen denies it was his intent to write a feminist play. It aroused a great sensation at the time, and caused a “storm of outraged controversy” that went beyond the theatre to the world newspapers and society.

The slamming of the front door at the end of A Doll’s House shatters the romantic masquerade of the Helmers’ … More

Born OTD in 1915, Arthur Miller. American playwright, essayist, & a major figure in the 20th-century American theater. The Crucible is Miller’s classic dramatisation of the witch-hunt & trials that besieged the Puritan community of Salem in 1692. Seen as a chilling parallel to the McCarthyism & repressive culture of fear that gripped America in the 1950s, the play’s timeless relevance and appeal remains as strong as when the play opened on Broadway in 1953.

This Student Edition of The Crucible is perfect for students of literature and drama and offers an unrivalled guide to … More

A blistering character study & an examination of the American melting pot & the judicial system that keeps it in check, Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply patriotic faith in the U.S. legal system. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases.

Reginald Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture to … More