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Masterpieces by Elaine Aston

Masterpieces by Elaine Aston

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Author
Elaine Aston
Publisher
Bloomsbury Methuen Drama
Date of release
Pages
104
ISBN
9781474218061
Binding
Paperback
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
5
41

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Book review

You are not at liberty to avenge the pornography industry in this country. We have the censorship laws for that.

Masterpieces
opens on three couples having dinner in a restaurant, exchanging sexist jokes. The response is varied: some of them laugh uproariously, some of them uncomfortably, and one is deeply unhappy. Their domestic discussion about the morality of pornography is suddenly amplified a thousand-fold in the next scene in which Rowena is on trial for murder. She had just been to see a 'snuff' film in which a porn actress is actually mutilated and killed on screen, and on her way home is approached threateningly by a man who she ends up pushing under a train because he was harassing her.

The play is the story of Rowena's journey, through seeing a porn magazine for the first time to a thwarted attempt to help an unhappy prostitute, from uncomfortable laughter to radical and disgusted protest at female subjugation.

Masterpieces is an angry and defiant play, first staged in 1983, at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, before transferring to the Royal Court Theatre, London. It earned Daniels a London Theatre Critics Award for Most Promising Playwright.

This edition introduces Sarah Daniels into the Modern Classics series and features an introduction by Elaine Aston, Professor of Contemporary Performance at Lancaster University.


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