Synopsis

How Plays Work

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David Edgar

Published by Nick Hern Books

Distinguished playwright David Edgar examines the mechanisms and techniques which dramatists throughout the ages have employed to structure their plays and to express their meaning

Written for playwrights and playgoers alike, Edgar's analysis starts with the building blocks of whole plays plot, character creation, genre and structure and moves on to scenes and devices

He shows how plays share a common architecture without which the uniqueness of their authors' vision would be invisible

What does King Lear have in common with Cinderella?

What does Jaws owe to Ibsen?

From Aeschylus to Alan Ayckbourn, from Chekhov to Caryl Churchill, are there common principles by which all plays work?

How Plays Work is a masterclass for playwrights and playmakers and a fascinating guide to the anatomy of drama David Edgar pioneered the teaching of playwriting in the UK, founding the Playwriting Studies course at Birmingham University in 1989

He is also a leading playwright, best known for his political plays and for his adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby for the RSC

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