English Stage Company

Definition

Theater

  • A London theater company founded in 1955 by George Devineto promote modern and experimental drama and encourage young playwrights."A theater must have a recognizable attitude," Devinestated. "It will have one, whether you like it or not."

    The company made its permanent home at the Royal CourtTheatre, opening in 1956 with Angus Wilson's The MulberryBush. An appeal by Devine for new scripts brought in 750 entries,including John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, which was stagedthat same year and set a new direction for British drama. Other playwrightslaunched by the company include Arnold Wesker, John Arden, EdwardBond, and David Storey.

    The ESC's controversial offerings created an uneasy relationshipwith the Lord Chamberlain, who banned The Catalystby Ronald Duncan in 1957 and Bond's Early Morningin 1968.

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