Plays of Three Decades: Thunder Rock / Jeb / Shadow of Heroes by Robert Ardrey

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Robert Ardrey
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Book review

This dramatic trio by one of the brilliant American literary minds of the 20th century carries a singular message: that success or failure in the theater of ideas lies with its audience and their time-spirit. As Mr. Ardrey so ruefully observes in his autobiographical preface to these plays written by him and variously produced in New York and London: "You must take your chances... Your minority report will be judged at some future time, perhaps when you are no longer around." The collection contains Thunder Rock, originally directed by Hollywood legend Elia Kazan and famously performed in London during the Blitz in 1940. Harold Hobson, Britain's leading drama critic of the 20th century, said about these performances: "[Thunder Rock] had an enormous effect in keeping alight the spirit of hope at a time when it was nearer to extinction than it had ever been, either before or after. What he accomplished for the British people at a moment of almost supreme despair... merits their lasting gratitude. He, more quietly than but as equally effectively as Churchill, urged us never to surrender."


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