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Laurence Raw
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Tiger tyger
How can a tiger be ”burning bright”? What does the phrase “fearful symmetry” describe? Why does the writer refer to the “distant deeps or skies?” What are the wings that the tiger aspires to? Why does the poet refer to the “shoulder” of “art”? What does thi...
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John Donne questions
The Good Morrow by John Donne What did the speaker and his lover do, till they fell in love? What is the ‘Seven Sleepers Den?’ What is ‘the dream’ that the writer describes? Why are the ‘waking souls’ of the writer and their lover not fearful? How does love...
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THIS HAPPY BREED BY NOEL COWARD
THIS HAPPY BREED by Noel COWARD The 1944 film has a more obvious propaganda purpose compared to Coward’s later films.  A portrait of a working class family in the London suburbs between 1919 and 1939, it begins and ends with the theme ‘London Pride,’ one of...
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Still Live by Noel Coward
STILL LIFE BY NOEL COWARD, BBC 26 May 1991 This is the original source from which Brief Encounter originated.  One of the Tonight at 8.30 series of playlets originally performed in the mid-1930s, it tells similar tale as the film yet gives more prominence t...
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BRIEF ENCOUNTER on Radio
BRIEF ENCOUNTER ON RACIO The story of BRIEF ENCOUNTER is so straightforward it cries out for radio adaptation.  Yet the effect on listeners can be very different from the stage version.   This phenomenon is very evident in two versions from different histor...
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The impossibility of love in BRIEF ENCOUNTER
This is the original David Lean film based on the Noel Coward text Still Lifw with Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson.  Johnson gives a quite remarkable performance as the suburban housewife plunged into a love-affair she never expected, and ending up born bet...
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Blithe Spirit by Theatreguild, New York, 1947
The US Steel-sponsored revival of BLITHE SPIRIT was first broadcast in 1947, and starred Clifton Webb and Mildred Natwick from the original Broadway production. To those familiar with the original play, there were some significant textual Alterations in thi...
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Blithe Spirit and Gender Relations
Broadcast in NBC’s  BEST PLAYS on 31 August 1952, this is a pared down (1 hour) version produced in an anthology series curated by theatre critic John Chapman.  the cast included John Loder, sometime film actor and socialite, Mildred Nateick, who played Mad...
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The Winslow Boy and the #metoo Movement
The Winslow Boy might appear to be one of the most historically specific of Rattigan’s plays. Set just before the outbreak of the First World War, it focuses on the individual’s right to challenge government institutions and persuade them to change their po...
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