The third title from Edge Hill University Press was celebrated at an event in Foyles bookshop in London on Friday 2 November, part of a series of UK launch events.
In partnership with Pluto Press, Scenes from the Revolution: Making Political Theatre (1968-2018) is a collection of essays, interviews and extracts of lost or previously unpublished plays that together form an exploration of making political theatre over the past 50 years, since the Theatres Act of 1968 ended censorship.
The book was edited by Dr Kim Wiltshire and Billy Cowan from the University’s Creative Writing department, who worked with a team of six Edge Hill Creative Writing student interns.
“The main aim of the book was to excavate some of the work created in the 70s and 80s by pioneering radical theatre companies such as Gay Sweatshop and 7:84. We wanted to create a dialogue between current political theatre practitioners and those early ones in order to catch a glimpse of how things have changed and developed. We also wanted to bring peoples’ attention to some of the plays from those early days that were never published and so it was exciting to search archival material to find these. We hope the book will give undergraduates an idea of what political theatre is and can be while giving them an overview of what has been happening over the last 50 years – and maybe inspire them to start making and writing their own political work.”
EHU Press offers internships to six Edge Hill students per year which see the students assigned a variety of roles, giving them real publishing industry experience.
Charlotte Fitch, EHU Press intern and MA Creative Writing student, said:
“This opportunity provided me and my fellow interns with highly sought-after experience within the publishing industry. We worked on the content, supported research, validated and sourced some of the material, much of it previously unpublished plays, undertook the copy-editing task and supported arrangements for the launch of the publication.
“Handling a pristine copy of the book in advance of its publication was a thrill as it reflected the time, energy and commitment we gave to the project. In the context of our studies at Edge Hill both at undergraduate and post graduate levels, this has been a unique and hugely valuable experience.”
The launch event featured readings from Julia Samuels of 20 Stories High young peoples’ theatre company, Catrina McHugh OBE director of Open Clasp Theatre and a short performance of an extract of Men by Noel Greig – a lost play by The General Will written in 1976.