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Kenneth Tynan

(1927—1980) theatre critic


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(1927–80),

dramatic critic, educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. He wrote for various papers, most influentially for the Observer (1954–63), and championed the plays of Osborne, Wesker, Delaney, Simpson, Beckett, and others, playing a leading role in the shift of taste from drawing‐room comedy and the poetic drama of T. S. Eliot and C. Fry (which he disliked) to naturalism and ‘working‐class drama’ (see Kitchen Sink Drama). His collections of reviews and essays include Curtains (1967), The Sound of Two Hands Clapping (1975), and A View of the English Stage (1976), which pay tribute to the role of the English Stage Company. Tynan was also a moving force in the creation of the National Theatre. See also, Theatre Criticism.

Subjects: Literature — Theatre.


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