Friday, April 09, 2010

Beautifully written...

"Of all the compliments I've come to fear, 'beautifully written' is the one I've come to fear most. A play shouldn't be beautifully written unless, for dramatic purposes, there is a character in it who speaks beautiful writing, so to speak. If it's to be any good a play can only be truthfully written, which means the characters speak as the characters would have spoken in this or that situation - from time to time they may find the resources within themselves that enable them to speak as if from beyond themselves (the prerogative of fiction) and therefore beautifully, but the resources must be recognisably, even if astonishingly, the characters', not the writer's. With luck and at his best the writer will pass unrecognised through a play, only identifiable at the end in the effect of a whole experience - if he's lucky, and been at his best."
Simon Gray

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