The Alchemist Essay

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In this excerpt from his book The Third Theatre, Brustein reviews a performance o/The Alchemist. While he complains of the lackluster production, Brustein does note that Jonson's play is "one of the three most perfect plays in literature" - a fact that is not diminished by mundane performances and staging.

Jules Irving had two possible alternatives when he decided to stage Ben Jonson's The Alchemist - either to find some modern equivalent for the action which might point its relevance to contemporary America or to choose a more traditional mode of presentation and offer the work frankly as a revival. Irving made the latter option, setting the play near its own time (the seventeenth century) and adopting a style common on the English stage about fifteen years ago: measured pace, lots of props, elocutionary delivery. The initial decision was honorable enough - it is a pleasure to...

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This section contains 1,224 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Alchemist Study Guide
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The Alchemist from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.