First World War Plays: Night Watches, Mine Eyes Have Seen, Tunnel Trench, Post Mortem, Oh What A Lovely War, The Accrington Pals, Sea and Land and Sky Mark Rawlinson
The First World War (1914-1918) marked a turning point in modern history and culture and its literary legacy is vast: poetry, fiction and memoirs abound. But the drama of the period is rarely recognised, with only a handful of plays commonly associated with the war. First World War Plays draws together canonical and lesser-known plays from the First World War to the end of the twentieth century, tracing the ways in which dramatists have engaged with and resisted World War I in their works. Spanning almost a century of conflict, this anthology explores the changing cultural attitudes to warfare, including the significance of the war over time, interwar pacifism, and historical revisionism. The collection includes writing by combatants, as well as playwrights addressing historical events and national memory, by both men and women, and by writers from Great Britain and the United States. Plays from the period, like Night Watches by Allan Monkhouse (1916), Mine Eyes Have Seen by Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1918) and Tunnel Trench by Hubert Griffith (1924), are joined with reflections on the war in Post Mortem by Noel Coward (1930, performed 1944) and Oh What A Lovely War by Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop (1963) as well as later works The Accrington Pals by Peter Whelan (1982) and Sea and Land and Sky by Abigail Docherty (2010). Accompanied by a general introduction by editor, Dr Mark Rawlinson.