Contextualising the play, 'Two'

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Contextualising the play

Jim Cartwright was born in 1958 and he was brought up in Farnsworth, Lancashire. At the age of 16 he went to train at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and after that Cartwright worked as an actor.

The technique used by Cartwright which involved using monologues which owes much to Brecht which is also used in a number of other plays. For example, in Cartwright’s play, ‘Two’, where the Landlord and Landlady who own the pub move easily from talking directly to the audience to talking to their customers, however these are improvised and only they can see them as the audience have to use their imagination.

Explaining the style of Cartwright is slightly complicated. The themes that Cartwright uses covers many different categories: the first is that of a character feeling as though it is themselves against the world, just like what some characters felt in ‘Two’, like the old woman who looked after her dying husband. How a memory takes a role within a character and even so, his work still defies easy categorisation, it is not always essentially northern nor is it ever entirely realistic although it is sometimes domestic and universal.

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Cartwright’s target audience at the time when he first wrote ‘Two’ was focused in the north of England.

The characters within Two symbolised what life was actually like in the 1980’s in the north of England. The different types of relationships were used so that the audience can really relate to their own lives with the lives of the characters within the play.

Despite the play being over ten years old, it has been recently performed and the audience can still relate to the characters and their relationships with others, which shows that people still experience the same experiences within ...

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