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N. F. Simpson (Norman Frederick Simpson) Biography

(1919– ), (Norman Frederick Simpson), A Resounding Tinkle, OneWay Pendulum, The Hole, The Cresta Run

British dramatist, born in London, educated at London University; he became a schoolmaster. He became fashionable in the late 1950s for plays that were widely regarded as distinctively English contributions to a Continental European movement, the Theatre of the Absurd. The most notable of these were A Resounding Tinkle (1957), about a suburban couple called the Paradocks whose day brings the delivery of an elephant and a request to form a government, and OneWay Pendulum (1959), in which a young man teaches speak-your-weight machines to sing the Hallelujah Chorus while his father is put on trial in the replica Old Bailey he has built in his living room. Though the surreal inventiveness of these plays, as well as that of The Hole (1958), The Cresta Run (1965), and Was He Anyone? (1972), earned him comparison with the work of Eugene Ionesco, they now seem lighter and less purposeful, more akin to the quirky exuberance of the comedian Spike Milligan and the radio programme The Goon Show.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Seven Against Thebes (Hepta epi Thēbas; Septem contra Thebas) to Sir Walter Scott and Scotland