Biography (Critical Survey of Drama, Second Revised Edition)
Born into a working-class family, Edward Bond, one of four children, was evacuated to Cornwall at the beginning of World War II, after which he returned to his grandparents’ home near Ely. These country experiences were important to Bond and may be the source of his exceptional ability to capture a wide variety of speech mannerisms. After the war, he returned to London for grammar school and attended Crouch End Secondary Modern School; like many of his classmates, he left school at fifteen. He later attributed his interest in playwriting to two childhood experiences: first, his early exposure to the music hall, where one of his sisters was a magician’s assistant, and second, his seeing, at age fourteen, the actor Daniel Wolfit in Macbeth (pr. 1606). Bond says of this experience, “It was the first thing that made sense of my life for me.”
After leaving school, Bond worked in a factory until he was eighteen and then fulfilled his national service obligation (1953-1955). After basic training, he found himself stationed in Vienna, where he began seriously to try to write fiction. He returned to London in 1955 and again worked in factories. After submitting some plays to the Royal Court, he was asked in 1958 to join the writers’ group there and to become a regular play reader for the theater. His first produced play, The Pope’s Wedding, was directed by George Devine, who became Bond’s favorite director and a champion of his...
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Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Edward Bond, one of the most controversial figures in drama, gained a reputation as a political activist with carefully articulated social and theatrical theories. One of four children, Bond was the son of working-class laborers. During World War II, he was evacuated to Cornwall. Upon his return to London, he attended a secondary school until he was fifteen, when he was asked to leave. Bond credited this event, and his entire background, with “the making” of his political consciousness. In 1948, he was deeply affected by a production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which convinced him that he wanted to write for the theater.
After leaving school, Bond worked at odd jobs until he was drafted in 1953. Being in the military served as a catalyst for his beginning to write seriously, and when he returned to civilian life two years later Bond found a favorable climate for new writers. The English Stage Company, located at the Royal Court, was formed in 1956 as a writers’ theater. Bond’s first play, The Pope’s Wedding, was performed there in December, 1962.
After 1966, Bond was able to live by his writing. In 1971, he married Elisabeth Pablé. His plays have won a number of awards, including the George Devine Award and the George Whiting Award in 1968. Bond was given an honorary doctorate from Yale University in 1977.
Bond gained both notoriety and acclaim with Saved in 1965. On stage, a baby is...
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Edward Bond was born in 1934 into a working-class family in Holloway, North London. In 1940 he was evacuated to Cornwall and subsequently to his grandparents in Ely, Cambridgeshire. In 1944 he returned to London and attended Crouch End Secondary Modern School, where he was not thought good enough to take the eleven-plus exam, which was necessary in order for him to continue school. He therefore left school at age fifteen, ending his formal education. However, while still in school, he went to see Donald Wolfit’s production of Macbeth, which had a profound impact on him. He later said in an interview, quoted in Bond: A Study of His Works: ‘‘for the very first time . . . I met somebody who was actually talking about my problems, the life I’d been living, the political society around me . . . I knew all those people, they were in the street or in the newspapers this (Macbeth) in fact was my world.’’ He also attended the music hall regularly (his sister was a magician’s assistant), which taught him theatrical builds and timing.
In 1953 Bond began his two years National Service and while in the army began his first serious writing. In 1958 he submitted two plays to the newly-formed English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre, London, and both were rejected. However, he was invited to join the Writers Group at the Royal Court, under the leadership of the young director William Gaskill, and in 1960 he became a play-reader at the...
(The entire section is 429 words.)
Edward Bond was born on July 18,1934, to working class parents in Holloway, a North London suburb in England. When World War II began in 1939, Bond, like many children, was evacuated to the countryside. Even so, he was exposed to the violence of the war, the bombings, the continual sense of danger, all of which helped to shape Bond’s image of the world as a violent place. Bond's education was interrupted by the war, and he left school for good at fifteen. He worked m factories and offices and served for two years in the British army. In his early twenties, he began writing plays.
At this time, in the 1950s, a new generation of playwrights was beginning to revolutionize British drama. These playwrights included John Osborne (Look Back in Anger), Arnold Wesker (Chicken-Soup with Barley), and Harold Pinter (The Homecoming). As a group, they moved away from the predictable, even insipid, British post-war theater to create drama, often political, that was new and vibrant. Bond eventually became one of this group of new playwrights.
Bond wrote a number of plays before his first staged work, The Pope's Wedding, was produced in 1962. Although that play contained some violence, it was not until the production of Saved (1965), a play that includes an onstage depiction of the stoning of a baby, that Bond became notorious for the extreme violence of his work. The Lord Chamberlain, a public official responsible at the...
(The entire section is 377 words.)