chapter  4
27 Pages

PERFORMING ‘CLASSICAL’ BRECHT

Making the strange familiar

In 1978, in an article entitled ‘Brecht, Bond, Gaskill and the Practice of Political Theatre’,

Peter Holland wrote:

The history of the reception of Brecht in Britain is an embarrassing one. A series of

imbalances, of half-aware ideas about the purposes of Brecht’s practical dramaturgy,

were made worse by a far more influential misconception about his politics and the

significance of his politics for his drama. It is to a large extent through a refusal to accept

the fundamentally political basis of Brecht’s theatre practice that critics have created

the illusory split of Brecht into a good playwright and a bad politician.1