Eric (Russell) Bentley The Times Literary Supplement - Essay

The Times Literary Supplement

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Eric Bentley's books tend to go by robustly confident titles which somehow get drowned in the text. What Is Theatre? The book tells you a good many things but not that. Theatre of Commitment again does nothing to prepare you for the nervously sceptical essays within. And so again in the case of this new collection.

Theatre of War consists of a selection of substantial pieces written over the past 20 years, arranged under three headings so as to imply a governing pattern. Mr Bentley divides the material into "The Life of Modern Drama", "The Drama of Modern Life", and "Living Theatre in a Dying World". To adopt his own habit of self-questioning argument, is there anything more in...

(The entire section is 765 words.)