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A Ladder of Words
A Ladder of Words

A Ladder of Words

Mid-Twentieth-Century Welsh Plays in English

Edited by David Cottis

PERFORMING ARTS

300 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $18.99 (CA $24.99) (US $18.99)

Publication Date: May 2021

ISBN 9781913640040

Rights: US, CA, SAM & CAR

Parthian Books Ltd. (May 2021)
Parthian Books

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Overview

When the north Wales-born actor and playwright Emlyn Williams performed his one-man show about Dylan Thomas, the critic Richard Findlater described him as 'unravelling a ladder of words' which he then climbs up, and pulls the spectators after him. Findlater called this 'the Cambrian rope trick,' highlighting the process by which writers, and Welsh writers in particular, use the power of language to take an audience into an unfamiliar world. This volume brings together three Welsh plays from the middle of the twentieth century: Rhondda Roundabout (1939) by Jack Jones, from his own novel, a panoramic view of politics, religion, sport, and music in the Valleys, described by the Sunday Times critic James Agate as 'too good for the West End'; The Druid's Rest (1944) by Emlyn Williams, a semi-autobiographical comedy about the fantasy life of an over-imaginative boy who suspects that an Englishman on a walking tour is actually a famous murderer; and After My Fashion (1952) by Diana Morgan, in which the widows of men who died on a Tibetan expedition discover untold secrets when approached by a film company, inspired by the Cardiff-born author's own experiences as a screenwriter at Ealing Studios, which also formed the basis for the recent novel and film Their Finest. Edited and with an introduction by David Cottis, and following on from A Dirty Broth, which looked at the pioneers of the Welsh theatre in English, A Ladder of Words explores the period either side of the Second World War, a time when Welsh playwrights enjoyed unprecedented commercial success, both at home and in the West End.

Author Biography

David Cottis is Lecturer in Scriptwriting at Middlesex University, and a theatre writer/director. He lives in London and Cardiff.