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In Our Time

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Bertolt Brecht

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of the greatest European playwrights of the twentieth century. The aim of Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) was to make the familiar ‘strange’: with plays such as Mother Courage and The Caucasian Chalk Circle he wanted his audience not to sit back but to engage, observe and discover the contradictions in life, and act on what they learnt. He developed this approach in turbulent times, from Weimar Germany to the rise of the Nazis, to exile in Scandinavia and America and then post-war life in East Berlin, and he has since inspired dramatists around the world. With Laura Bradley Professor of German and Theatre at the University of Edinburgh David Barnett Professor of Theatre at the University of York And Tom Kuhn Professor of Twentieth Century German Literature, Emeritus Fellow of St Hugh's College, University of Oxford Producer: Simon Tillotson In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio production Reading list: David Barnett, Brecht in Practice: Theatre, Theory and Performance (Bloomsbury, 2014) David Barnett, A History of the Berliner Ensemble (Cambridge University Press, 2015) Laura Bradley and Karen Leeder (eds.), Brecht and the GDR: Politics, Culture, Posterity (Camden House, 2015) Laura Bradley, ‘Training the Audience: Brecht and the Art of Spectatorship’ (The Modern Language Review, 111, 2016) Bertolt Brecht (ed. Marc Silberman, Tom Kuhn and Steve Giles), Brecht on Theatre (Bloomsbury, 2014) Bertolt Brecht (ed. Tom Kuhn, Steve Giles and Marc Silberman), Brecht on Performance (Bloomsbury, 2014) Bertolt Brecht (trans. Tom Kuhn and David Constantine), The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht (Norton Liveright, 2018) which includes the poem ‘Spring 1938’ read by Tom Kuhn in this programme Stephen Brockmann (ed.), Bertolt Brecht in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2021) Meg Mumford, Bertolt Brecht (Routledge, 2009) Stephen Parker, Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life (Bloomsbury, 2014) Ronald Speirs, Brecht’s Poetry of Political Exile (Cambridge University Press, 2000) David Zoob, Brecht: A Practical Handbook (Nick Hern Books, 2018)

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