Trevor Griffiths

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J. W. Lambert

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The Party is a truthful play; but it is also sadly muddled [and] theatrically ineffective….

Essentially The Party—the title refers vaguely to political parties, specifically to a gathering of radicals called together by the TV producer—consists of three very long speeches. (p. 18)

Unfortunately the play in which Mr. Griffiths has framed these impressive diatribes is almost non-existent, and a notable step backward from his last full-length work, Occupations….

The sum total, though intelligent and not really boring, is basically uninteresting, because there is no real conflict or development, psychological or otherwise, only a basically contemptuous summary of crippled progressives. And what induced Mr. Griffiths, even if he did not wish to complicate his picture by making much of the events of 1968 in Czechoslovakia, far more wretched than those in France, to throw in a mere flippant allusion to that unhappy country? A mildly comic au pair girl with a Czech flag on her back and a pet hamster named after a prominent Stalinist seems to me an exceptionally shoddy way to evade commenting on the fall of Dubchek. (p. 19)

J. W. Lambert, in Drama, Spring, 1974.

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