British Playwright John Arden Dies at 81…

I just saw this announcement in the New York Times that a playwright whose work I admired died last week (March 28).

John Arden was the author of”Sergeant Musgrave’s Dance”,Live Like Pigs“, and “Armstrong’s Last Goodnight” among others and helped make the career of such actors as Albert Finney. Arden was strongly influenced by Bertold Brecht and his work had the same kind of working class political motivation.

During my college years, Arden was one of those playwrights that every drama student wanted to be involved with… his plays were considered equal to John Osborne’s and other members of the “Angry Young Men” movement.

During his career he came into conflict with the theatre establishment – with his wife and co-writer Margaretta D’Arcy, he picketed the RSC premiere of his Arthurian play The Island of the Mighty; and together they wrote several plays highly critical of British presence in Ireland, where he and D’Arcy lived from 1971.


About btchakir

Retired Theatre Producer, Graphic Designer, Usability Tester and General Troubleshooter with a keen interest in Politics and The Stage. Currently heard on WSHC, 89.7 FM (on line at and occasionally dabbling in Community Theatre.

Posted on April 3, 2012, in Announcement, Art, Arts, creativity, News, Obits, Opinion, Politics, Theatre and Art, Word from Bill and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on British Playwright John Arden Dies at 81….

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