y Blasting the Reds : A Workers' Play single work   drama   satire   - One act
Issue Details: First known date: 1983 1983
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Notes

  • Craig Munro (130) comments: 'About mid 1927, Stephensen wrote another, longer sketch for the Sunday Worker W.T.M. group just before its demise. This play was entitled 'Blasting the Reds, A Worker's Play', 'written in haste, repented at leisure by Peter Stephens'. He goes on as follows (133): 'Stephensen's sketch Blasting the Reds was straightforward political theatre, caricaturing the leading establishment figures in the British press and parliament with the aim of recruiting more workers to direct political action. It was important for communists like Stephensen to strengthen the British militant left which had been split by the failure of the general Strike and the abject capitulation of the union leadership. However, it was in line with early revolutionary communist policy that the most reviled characters in Stephensen's sketch were the labour party moderates 'Jimmie' (James Thomas) and 'Mac' (Ramsay MacDonald)...In Stephensen's view, both Thomas and MacDonald were class traitors, easily manipulated by the forces of capital and conservatism.

    Stylistically, Stephensen's sketch was based as much on traditional vaudeville as on agitprop, and the actors were little more than mouthpieces for his satirical verse....Blasting the Reds, however, was also in the tradition of Russian Proletkult theatre. The large placards 'Boss Is God' and 'Blast the Reds' immediately established the political context, ensuring the whole action would be played against this backdrop of class antagonism.' (Craig Munro 'P. R. Stephensen and the early Workers' Theatre Movement in London', Australasian Drama Studies 1.2 (April 1983): 124-137).

  • This quote precedes the play 'written in haste, repented at leisure.'
  • Craig Munro (134) concludes: 'As the extant copy of Blasting the Reds is a typescript carbon, there is no evidence the play was ever performed...' (Craig Munro, 'P. R. Stephensen and the early Workers' Theatre Movement in London', Australasian Drama Studies 1.2 (April 1983): 125-137).

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Australasian Drama Studies ADS vol. 1 no. 2 April 1983 Z621776 1983 periodical issue 1983 pg. 138-154
      .
      Description: Typescript.
      (Manuscript) assertion

      Holdings

      Held at: State Library of New South Wales State Library of NSW

Works about this Work

P.R. Stephensen and the Early Workers' Theatre Movement in London Craig Munro , 1983 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , April vol. 1 no. 2 1983; (p. 124-137)
P.R. Stephensen and the Early Workers' Theatre Movement in London Craig Munro , 1983 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , April vol. 1 no. 2 1983; (p. 124-137)
Last amended 27 Jul 2016 08:27:10
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