Sergeant Musgrave's Dance Criticism

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From its first production, Serjeant Musgrave's Dance has been controversial. Reviewers of the initial British productions found flaws with the play's structure. Hilary Spurling of the Spectator contended: "There is no conflict. I defy anyone to explain the plot, except perhaps as a series of expedients to stave off the grand climax until the last act..."

Only a few critics favorably assessed Arden's play. Alan Brien asserted that "I have never seen a play which created its own mad, obsessed, other-world so completely as Serjeant Musgrave's Dance."

American critics offered mixed reviews of the drama. Stanley Kauffmann of The New York Times maintained, "Serjeant Musgrave's Dance ... has been hailed as the best postwar English play and has been derogated as murky. To me, there seems to be good argument on both sides."

An anonymous critic in Newsweek asserted: "There is no single 'point' to Musgrave. Read by some...

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This section contains 589 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sergeant Musgrave's Dance Study Guide
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Sergeant Musgrave's Dance from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.