Reviews were often either antagonistic to this new form of theatre or baffled by it. In both cases it frequently resulted in dismissive reviews and a rejection of the playwright. Gradually, however, the tide of anti-Brecht feeling was beginning to turn and it was given a following wind when the Berliner Ensemble made their second visit to London in 1965. Ideas in the British theatre were on the move; the arts in general in the 1960s were in a time of change and expansion. Then the ‘politicisation’ of theatre in the post-1968 period, which led to the development of the ‘fringe’ theatre scene, provided a perfect context for the rehabilitation of Brecht. His plays – including their politics this time – were ideal material for that rather un-British event, the construction of an ‘alternative’ theatre discourse. As with so much that starts artistic life as ‘alternative’, Brecht’s plays were soon absorbed into the mainstream of British theatre, and less than a decade later his work featured in the programmes of even the most conservative of repertory theatres and was hailed as ‘classic’ by the British national companies. Brecht had been appropriated. But the problem with appro-priation, of course, is that its very purpose is to pull sharp teeth and nullify political bite. And Brecht’s political message would be sanitised for a British establishment’s flirtation with socialism. As British political theatre was itself eroded by the Thatcherite 1980s, Brecht’s status within British culture – never completely convincing – became unsure. In the 1990s, Britain blinks, uncertainly and with nostalgia, in a post-cold war, post-industrial and postmodern light. Not only are the political enemies no longer identifiable, authors, too, have gone largely the way of cultural relativism. Whether there will be a meaningful place and function again for Brecht in British theatre remains to be seen. The first chapter of this book considers the context and development of Brecht’s ideas and theories on theatre performance, focusing in particular on the differences and similarities between Brecht and the ‘naturalistic’ actor/director Constantin Stanislavski – ‘measuring the distance’ between them. It then considers Brecht’s choice of actors and his methods of working with them, and how these illuminate his theoretical ideas on performance. Material is drawn from published interviews with and performance reviews of key performers such as Helene Weigel, Ekkehard Schall, Angelika Hurwicz and Charles Laughton. In Chapter 2, the subject is the penetration of British theatre by Brecht material in the 1950s. The chapter explains how both early British productions of Brecht and new playwrights in Britain were influenced by the work of the Berliner Ensemble. Two tendencies are high-lighted: that of some practitioners to imitate the outward appearances of Berliner produc-tions, thus placing the emphasis on theatrical ‘style’ rather than process, and that of others to attempt to follow Brecht’s precepts for the rehearsal process in a context ill-suited to them.