Article Title

The Director Intervenes: Christopher Hampton's Savages


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

It is obvious that the director can· and often does change the balance of emphases within a play. The play's presentation of its meaning in performance can be as dependent on the director's approach as on the playwright's own. Nonetheless, although the effect of directorial intervention on the meaning of a play has been studied in relation to the classic theatre, particularly Shakespeare, it is rare that that process is examined for modem plays, presenting as they often do a seamless link between director and author. Of course there are extreme cases when the seams rip apart; John Arden and Margaretta D'Arcy, dissatisfied with what they saw as a gross distortion of their political position, picketed the Aldwych Theatre during the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Island of the Mighty. But we can rarely test what has happened when the production is agreed to be a success by both director and playwright. Christopher Hampton's Savages provides such an example.

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