chapter  4
Stolen Future, Discarded Self
Pages 18

Astageplay,Clowns(written1968),wasconceivedasanantithesisor satyrplaytoTheSonsofLight-avulgarlyfunnyversionoftheimperialpremise inwhichnewcomersarriveataplaceanddetermineto"improve"or"save"it. Buttheplay'sgrossnessandgrotesquenessincreasinglytendedtowardthe'elephantine'1andburdensome.ToSeainaBowl(written1969)provedanotherabortive initiative,atelevisionplayfollowingthefortunesofagroupofEnglishlow-rankingCollegeofFurtherEducationlecturers,teachingtheirnativelanguageata summerschoolinHungary.Theirpettysquabbles,infightingandwranglingwere foregroundedagainstmoreawful,momentousandinscrutabletermsofexistence,suchastheabductionand"disappearance"ofpeoplebythesecretservice inBudapest.However,thisdepictionofEnglishnationalcharacterinitsworst involutionitselfmadeforan'involuted'2play.Apparentlytheplaywasbasedon personalexperienceofsuchaschoolandincludedaparticularlyviciousRudkin self-caricatureamongsttheteachers,butitssubjectivityresultedinastaleintractability.LikeChasmandClowns,itwasdestroyed.