“Ron Bryden’s foreword to his theatre essays begins ‘Caveat emptor!,’ with a humorous warning that most of these pieces began life as program notes, and that those who seek the ‘grand theoretic formulae’ of the ‘post-modern, post-colonial, neo-feminist or even palaeo-patriarchal’ will be disappointed. But his playful modesty does little justice to this enjoyable and informative collection. Bryden, who died in 2004, was one of Canada’s foremost theatre critics, and one of the most influential critics of his generation.”
– Lisa Fitzpatrick, University of Toronto Quarterly
Shaw and his Contemporaries: Theatre Essays by Ronald Bryden brings together in one volume many of these well documented, thoroughly researched and accessible essays on theatre. His only other book, The Unfinished Hero and Other Essays (1969) included many reviews and essays that made Bryden one of the leading drama critics in Britain.
The publication of Shaw and His Contemporaries: Theatre Essays coincided with Ronald Bryden’s retirement after ten seasons as the Shaw Festical’s Literary Advisor. Prior to this appointment, he held appointments as Director of the University of Toronto’s Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama, dramaturge of Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company, and drama critic for The New Statesman and The Observer.