Michael Billington: 1971, Christopher Hampton, who'd an earlier success, but he wrote a play called The Philanthropist which was was hugely popular. It was done for the Royal Court, filled the Royal Court; the Royal Court was going through one of it's puritanical phases and was rather horrified by this popularity and didn't approve of the play. It then moved to a commercial theatre, The Mayfair and ran for two years or so and then went to Broadway. And it is about what it's title implies; it is about a man who actually sees every point of view and is philanthropic and generous and kindly in his instincts. And it's about the awful life he finds; how he copes with it, how you cope with being not sort of partisan or polemical in life, but being a nice, liberal, middle-of-the-roader. Wonderfully funny play.
4 WEEK SHORT COURSE: Shakespeare is, without doubt, the most produced playwright in British Theatre. His plays form the cornerstone of the classical repertoire. This course will look at how Shakespeare’s plays have survived onstage.