Chapter

Little England

Sue Vice

in Jack Rosenthal

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780719077043
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703144 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719077043.003.0012
Little England

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This chapter explores four of Jack Rosenthal's plays: Your Name's Not God, It's Edgar (1968), Another Sunday and Sweet F.A. (1972), Mr Ellis Versus the People (1974) and There'll Almost Always be an England (1974). Each play has a clearly defined scenario and depends for its humour on a particular notion of British life. This life is characterised by people's self-delusions, aspirations and small-scale concerns as set against such institutions as English amateur football, the legacy of Empire and democracy itself. Your Name's Not God, It's Edgar uses the cinematic form of 1960s British New Wave cinema, focusing on everyday or kitchen-sink drama in a working-class setting. In Another Sunday and Sweet F.A., the supposedly British virtue of fairness is sacrificed by an amateur football league referee to the end of salvaging his own crushed ambitions. In There'll Almost Always Be an England, comedy arises from the dissonance between nostalgic wartime views of Britishness and its class-ridden, consumerist present; while disenchantment with the process of voting is represented in Mr Ellis Versus the People in a way well suited to its mid-1970s context.

Keywords: Jack Rosenthal; Another Sunday; Mr Ellis; Always be England

Chapter.  11474 words. 

Subjects: Television

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