Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Encyclopedia of Literature: Harriet Martineau Biography to John McTaggart (John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart) Biography

John McGrath Biography

(1935–2002), Events while Guarding the Bofors Gun, Bakke's Night of Fame

british scottish plays cent

British dramatist, born in Birkenhead, educated at Oxford University. His early plays, notably Events while Guarding the Bofors Gun (1966) and Bakke's Night of Fame (1968), about a murderer on the eve of his execution, brought an element of complexity to social subjects. His work has become simpler and more didactic, though always also robust and humorous, since 1971, the year he founded the 7:84 Theatre Company. This derived its name from a statistic which claimed that 7 per cent of the British population owned 84 per cent of the national wealth, and has remained dedicated to bringing radical ideas directly to the working class. Among the McGrath plays that have been presented by either the English or the Scottish sections of this troupe are Fish in the Sea (1972), about the occupation of a factory being ‘rationalized’ by a multinational corporation; The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil (1973), about the exploitation of the Scottish Highlands by the rich and ruthless; Little Red Hen (1975), in which a fiercely socialist Scotswoman gives her granddaughter a lesson in politics by way of weaning her from her attachment to Scottish nationalism; Blood Red Roses (1980), another exemplary tale about an attempt to resist international capitalism on the shop floor; and The Garden of England (1984), about the coalminers' strike of 1984. McGrath is also the co-author, with Richard Norton Taylor, of Half the Picture (1994), a dramatic digest of the evidence given to Sir Richard Scott's official inquiry into the question of whether and why British arms were sold to Iraq in the period before the Gulf War.

Thomas McGrath (Thomas Matthew McGrath) Biography - (1916–90), (Thomas Matthew McGrath), Longshot O'Leary's Garland of Practical Poesie [next]

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or