Tynan, Kenneth Peacock

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Tynan, Kenneth Peacock

Kenneth Peacock Tynan (tī´nən), 1927–80, English drama critic, author, and theatrical executive, b. Birmingham, England. During the 1950s, while writing for The Observer, Tynan was widely regarded as Britain's most brilliant, insightful, and influential drama critic. He espoused a new theatrical realism best exemplified in the works of the angry young men. For a decade (1963–73) he was literary manager of the National Theatre of Great Britain. Tynan's last years, spent in Los Angeles, were filled with disappointment and unhappiness and were artistically enlivened primarily by a series of lengthy profiles he wrote for the New Yorker. Among his books are Curtains (1961) and Show People: Profiles in Entertainment (1979).

See his letters, ed. by his wife, K. Tynan (1998); his diaries, ed. by J. Lahr (2001); biography by K. Tynan (1987).

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