By Holger Klein (auth.)
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Extra resources for J. B. Priestley’s Plays
However, they are useful mainly to understand what can be felt as excess, at times to the point of irritation. The general concept of drama based on the three layers of text, a phenomenon peculiar to the modem period, remains valid and requires further study rather then peremptory dismissal. The side texts' importance will again come to the fore in the analyses of language differentiation (Chapter 5, pp. 90ff. ). 3 Time, Place, and Unity Acting Time, Action Time, Act Division, Period In Man and Time (1964) Priestley devotes some pages to aspects of time in drama (pp.
233). 17 In this connection one must mention the brief 'Aside' entitled 'Progress in the Theatre' (Outcries, pp. ) which is a veritable (somewhat nostalgic) disquisition on the art of varying the Curtain falls. 18 It is the Performance Directions which contain problematic side text items. Here we find the bulk of stage directions in the narrow sense - and often find them in great profusion. Evans seems to be the only critic so far to have gone into this aspect (pp. 110--14) sensitively and discerningly, as one would imagine.
Both trends may in some way be a reply to the non serviam attitude visibly hardening in the theatres. Priestley's own favourite model, that of the "author-director-team Theatre" (Plays 3, pp. vii-x) represents a constructive concept for co-operation apt to overcome this and other imbalances. e. ) If no-one, not even the author, can know what a work or any part of it means, then, one may infer, anyone's guess is as good as anyone else's. 3 If one harbours this and related notions, the great thing is to bring a play to life on the stage, regardless of what the dramatist may have envisaged.
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