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Social, Cultural and Historical Aspects of the play 'Road'

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Social, Cultural and Historical Aspects of 'Road'. By Zo� Murray Jim Cartwright wrote the play 'Road' and was born in 1958. Brought up in Farnworth, Lancashire, he left school at 16, and worked as an actor after training at the Central School of Speech and Drama. His first play, Road, was commissioned by the Royal Court Theatre, London, and first performed in 1986. The play went on to win a number of awards and was also adapted for the BBC. Road is Cartwright's first and most performed play and is a series of vignettes combined with monologues. These monologues are notable for an almost 'stream of consciousness' quality which mirrors the wider framework of the narrative. Scullery wanders aimlessly up and down his 'road' pointing out characteristics of the dismal site and setting the scene for the glimpses we see of the residents' lives. Scullery is both part of the scene and the creator of it. This technique - which owes much to Brecht - is also utilised in a number of Cartwright's other plays. ...read more.


Fling me up more like, I was flung through the years." Road has a relevance to the modern day audience too because many of the things happening in the play still happen today. Due to the 24 hour drinking control binge drinking was very much an occurrence in the play. This binge drinking in Road still happens today although, in some rough areas in the north nowadays may resort to drugs too which did not occur in the play. There is the sex aspect of the play too which still happens today; many people are still living their lives promiscuously like Scullery. The character of Skin-Lad in the play becomes Buddhist and this is a religious belief not uncommon today therefore further relative to the modern-day audience. Conversely, the modern-day audience may not be able to relate to the clothing much in Road because generally now, there appears to be a uniform for the underclass with their tracksuit bottoms and all their other ensembles; whereas, the characters in Road had different clothes on. ...read more.


Due to privatisation this resulted in hundreds of people finding them-selves unemployed, living on the dole in the 80's. The Falklands War was also a historical even which occurred at the time of Road. The character of Soldier in the play is shown to drink and I feel this could be to discard his memories from what he could have seen having been fighting. This is Soldier's way of escaping into his own frame of mind in which many other characters in play do too. They all have the desire to want to escape from this 'Road' that they live at. The theme of escape is very much significant in the play as mentioned previously, and this is still relevant today as society always tires to better itself. The desperation of the characters is shown throughout the play; Brenda even has to scrounge money off her daughter Carol. Overall, some social, cultural and historical aspects in the 80s and the play Road are evident still today. I feel those that did occur in the 80s were well illustrated within Road. ...read more.

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