The best of Tynan's theatre criticism, selected and edited by his biographer Dominic Shellard - with a foreword by Tom Stoppard.
Kenneth Tynan was the 20th century's most influential theatre critic. Famous above all for championing the Angry Young Men at the Royal Court and for heralding Brecht, Beckett and Pinter, his writing was itself a 'high-definition performance' – stylish, discerning and scintillatingly witty.
This volume collects over 100 of his reviews, including his astonishingly accurate assessments of the first ever performances of Waiting for Godot; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; A View from the Bridge; The Entertainer; A Taste of Honey; and Beyond the Fringe. Also included are articles on such topics as Broadway musicals, censorship, Bertolt Brecht and, his pet hobby-horse, the need for a National Theatre, where he was to be Olivier's right-hand man.
'Tynan was unique in that he combined the soul of an artist with the descriptive skill of a journalist. His style, blending voluptuous ease with verbal precision, was also a constant instrument of pleasure' Michael Billington, Guardian
'a sentence from him is worth a book from all the rest' Time Out
See extracts from Theatre Writings published in the Guardian.
This title is also available in paperback.
Kenneth Tynan was born in April 1927 and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, which he left to become drama critic of the Evening Standard in 1951. He moved to the Observer in 1954, where he wrote on theatre every week until he left in 1962 to join Laurence Olivier's new National Theatre as its Literary Manager - and later Consultant. He died in July 1980. He was also a theatre producer - of shows ranging from Oh! Calcutta to Soldiers - and a prolific feature writer: a selection of his Profiles is published by NHB. Also published since his death are his Diaries and Letters.
Dominic Shellard has published seven books on British theatre, including Kenneth Tynan: A Life (2003), 'an excellent biography, so cool, so impeccably researched, and so often very moving' (Spectator)