TITLE

'Where do we go from here?': Education, theatre and politics in the British Army, 1942-1945

AUTHOR(S)
Watson, Don
PUB. DATE
December 1994
SOURCE
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Winter94, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p57
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article examines politics in the British Army Bureau of Current Affairs (ABCA) between 1942 and 1945. The ABCA has received more sober attention in recent years as historians continue to interpret British politics during the war period. A more submerged aspect has also been discussed as some ABCA veterans have recalled how it provided a clandestine vehicle for socialist politics within the army. ABCA personnel were continually seeking out more effective methods to present material and Education Corps Major Michael MacOwan, a theatrical producer in civilian life, had been adapting role play and dramatisations for this purpose. In 1942, MacOwan was impressed by a production of One Third of a Nation, one of the Living Newspapers from the American Federal Theatre Project from before the war. This innovative technique of applying the principles of the cinema to stage drama had been done in Britain too by the socialist theatre companies of the 1930's. Associated with the Popular Front-style campaigns in solidarity with Republican Spain and opposing unemployment, appeasement and fascism at home, the Unity theatres and the Left Book Club Theatre Guild had established networks of amateur theatre groups in many of the major towns and cities by 1939.
ACCESSION #
5820052

 

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