This book rediscovers and re-evaluates the work of the Welsh dramatist J. O. Francis (1882–1954) and his contribution to the development of Welsh drama in the twentieth century. More than a prize-winning dramatist, whose plays were performed all over the world, Francis can also be described as one of the founding fathers of modern Welsh drama, whose work has helped establish theatrical realism on the Welsh stage. His creative non-fiction for the popular press and for radio gives a unique perspective on how Wales was seen through the eyes of a perceptive London-Welsh observer. Using much previously unpublished material, this volume is an excellent introduction to one of Wales’s foremost dramatists, and is innovative in the way that it creates a picture of the amateur dramatic scene of south Wales (1920–40) based on sound statistical analysis of available evidence. It situates Francis’s work in its cultural context and brings this exciting period in Welsh cultural history to life in its introduction to a new audience.
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