A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights

By John L. DiGaetani | Go to book overview

MICHAEL FRAYN

Michael Frayn plays include The Two of Us ( 1970), The Sandboy ( 1971), Alphabetical Order ( 1975), Clouds ( 1976), Liberty Hall ( 1976), Donkey Years ( 1976), Make and Break ( 1980), Noises Off ( 1981), and Benefactors ( 1984). All these plays were originally staged in London, and the last two had long runs in both London and New York. The National Theatre in London has staged three of his translations: The Cherry Orchard, Wild Honey, and The Fruits of Enlightenment. He has also written several plays for television, including Jamie on a Flying Visit and Birthday. In addition, Mr. Frayn has published six novels, the most recent of which, The Trick of It, appeared in 1989 and was excerpted in The New Yorker.

DiGaetani: I really enjoyed the wonderful comedy in your latest novel, The Trick of It, but it really depressed me because of its view of academics. The book seemed to me such a scathing attack on critics and academics in general.

Frayn: The novel is not an attack on critics, though I suppose the critic does not come off too well, but then nor does the writer. In a sense the critic holds all the aces because he tells the story, he controls the events.

DiGaetani: The Trick of It is an epistolary novel, a form we don't see much of these days.

Frayn: The critic is actually the one in the driver's seat, and that's a reversal of the normal situation.

DiGaetani: But look at the way the critic ends up, without a wife and without a job.

Frayn: But in the end he has actually written that book in the course of it. In a sense, The Trick of It is not really an attack at all on literary critics or teachers of literature. The novel tries to portray the paradox of critics on the one hand and writers on the other, and the novel tries to show how writers are parasites on life. That writer begins to use up

-73-

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A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Robert Anderson 1
  • Alan Ayckbourn 15
  • Eric Bentley 27
  • Ed Bullins 39
  • Mart Crowley 47
  • Jules Feiffer 55
  • Horton Foote 65
  • Michael Frayn 73
  • Larry Gelbart 83
  • Amlin Gray 91
  • Simon Gray 97
  • John Guare 105
  • A. R. Gurney 113
  • ChriS+̄topher Hampton 121
  • William M. Hoffman 133
  • Israel Horovitz 139
  • Tina Howe 149
  • David Henry Hwang 161
  • Albert Innaurato 175
  • David Ives 183
  • Barrie Keeffe 191
  • Romulus Linney 199
  • Craig Lucas 211
  • Terrence Mcnally 219
  • Adrian Mitchell 229
  • Richard Nelson 237
  • Marsha Norman 245
  • Eric Overmyer 253
  • David Storey 259
  • Timberlake Wertenbaker 265
  • August Wilson 275
  • Lanford Wilson 285
  • Paul Zindel 295
  • Bibliography 305
  • Index 309
  • About the Author *
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