closet drama



  • A play intended for reading rather than performance on stage.Seneca's dramas were probably written to be read aloud andinclude extravagant scenes that would be very difficult to stage.

    During the Romantic and Victorian era many established poetswrote closet dramas (see poetic drama); some haveactually been produced, with varying degrees of success. LaurenceOlivier had a crashing failure in 1928 with Tennyson's verseplay Harold, published during the poet's lifetime but neverbefore performed. When Olivier, then 20, appeared in the play wearinga long blonde wig he was anxious to make an impression in his firstleading London role; however, Tennyson's "tediously undramatictext" doomed his best efforts.