Michael Billington

Standard Name: Billington, Michael


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Health Harold Pinter
A year or two into the new millennium HP began to get indigestion and to feel weak and exhausted. An endoscopy revealed oesophagal cancer. He planned for chemotherapy, then surgery. In February 2002 he learned...
Literary responses Seamus Heaney
Michael Billington in the Guardian expressed dislike for the production by Lorraine Pintal , which in making tyranny generic deleted the specific and topical references, but found the words austerely memorable and the play superbly...
Literary responses Sarah Kane
This play outraged the critics, putting Kane on the news pages of tabloids as well as the arts pages of broadsheets.
Greig, David, and Sarah Kane. “Introduction”. Complete Plays, Methuen Drama, p. ix - xviii.
Paul Taylor in The Independent likened it to having your whole head held...
Literary responses Sarah Kane
Michael Billington in 2005 called this his least favourite of Kane's plays. Yet he recognises its complexity. While he first saw it as a poetically allusive meditation on the obsessive nature of love, he later...
Literary responses Harold Pinter
This play met with European as well as British success and was filmed in 1963. The excellent reviews, a complete reversal from the catastrophic ones for Pinter's previous London opening, are ascribed by Michael Billington
Literary responses Sarah Kane
Billington noted in April 2005 the staggering disparity of perception between the attitude to SK in England (where shehas not entered the theatrical mainstream, but is performed mostly at universities) and in the rest...
Literary responses Harold Pinter
Bernard Levin called the play, in a revival of 1978, unendurable.
Fraser, Antonia. Must You Go?. Random House of Canada.
In the ODNB a quarter-century later, Michael Billington called it a rich climax to Pinter's naturalistic writing for the theatre.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray et al., editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. http://www.oxforddnb.com/.
Literary responses Harold Pinter
Nevertheless, reviews in the daily and Sunday papers were bad (including those of Bernard Levin and, more surprisingly, Michael Billington ).
Fraser, Antonia. Must You Go?. Random House of Canada.
101-2, 112
Benedict Nightingale in the New Statesman provided an appreciative notice and called...
Literary responses Claire Luckham
English-speaking critics are divided on the play's politics. Margaret Llewellyn-Jones thought it ideologically somewhat questionable in the way that it combines Brechtian distancing techniques with encouragement for the audience to cheer during the wrestling matches,...
Literary responses Harold Pinter
Michael Billington suggested in the ODNB that Pinter's reputation and career might have developed differently had this play been seen by the public at the time of its completion.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray et al., editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. http://www.oxforddnb.com/.
Literary responses Claire Luckham
Reviewer Michael Billington felt that the plot of Blackbird had a traditional feel—that using a death to precipitate a dispute over physical and emotional ownership was, along with other elements in the play, derivative...
Literary responses Edna O'Brien
Reviewer Michael Billington especially admired the vigour and irony of O'Brien's language.
Billington, Michael. “Fate meets human flaws”. Guardian Weekly, p. 16.
Literary responses Louise Page
Most reviewers preferred the first part. Michael Billington , reviewing for The Guardian, praised the play as less an anti-war diatribe than a feeling of the texture of ordinary lives.
Eisen, Kurt. “Louise Page”. British Playwrights, 1956-1995. A Research and Production Source Book, edited by William W. Demastes, Greenwood Press, pp. 291-00.
Literary responses Frances Burney
The reanimation of FB 's comedies is a happy story. Tara Ghoshal Wallace edited A Busy Day in paperback in 1984. A fringe production performed in Bristol in 1993, then in Islington, London, in...
Literary responses Louise Page
LP was so moved that she wept as she wrote this play. She later perceived an autobiographical element in it.
Page, Louise. Plays: 1. Methuen.
Reviewers were on the whole less impressed than they had previously been by Page...


By 13 May 2007: The director of London's National Theatre,...

Women writers item

By 13 May 2007

The director of London's National Theatre , Nicholas Hytner , alleged that critics (whom he called dead white men) showed misogyny in reviewing plays by women.


Billington, Michael. “’Nothing is the hardest thing to do’: Guardian/NFT interview: Stephen Daldry”. Guardian Unlimited.
Billington, Michael. “A Criminal Coldness”. Country Life, pp. 94-5.
Billington, Michael. “Another World review—compelling insights into Islamic State”. theguardian.com.
Billington, Michael. “Ding Dong the Wicked – review”. The Guardian.
Billington, Michael. “Fate meets human flaws”. Guardian Weekly, p. 16.
Billington, Michael. Harold Pinter. Faber and Faber, 2007.
Billington, Michael. “Here We Go review’Caryl Churchill’s chilling reminder of our mortality”. theguardian.com.
Billington, Michael. “Jefferson’s Garden review—Timberlake Wertenbaker’s American tragedy”. theguardian.com.
Billington, Michael. “Leave Taking review—insightful and honest tale of the anguish of immigrants”. theguardian.com.
Billington, Michael. “Making drama out of the Iraq crisis”. Guardian Weekly, p. 20.
Ezard, John, and Michael Billington. “Obituary: Joan Littlewood”. Guardian Unlimited.
Billington, Michael. “Oh What a Lovely War”. Guardian Unlimited.
Billington, Michael. “Our Ajax — review”. theguardian.com.
Billington, Michael. Peggy Ashcroft. John Murray, 1988.
Billington, Michael. Peggy Ashcroft, 1907-1991. Mandarin, 1991.
Billington, Michael. “Review of <span data-tei-ns-tag="tei_title" data-tei-title-lvl=‘m’>Blackbird</span> by Claire Luckham”. Guardian Unlimited.
Billington, Michael. “Seven Jewish Children, Royal Court, London”. The Guardian.
Billington, Michael. “Tanzi Libre — review”. The Guardian, p. 45.
Billington, Michael. “The best British playwright you’ll never see”. Guardian Unlimited.
Billington, Michael. “The Burial at Thebes”. Guardian Online.
Billington, Michael. “The Lady from the Sea”. Guardian Unlimited.
Billington, Michael. “The Riots—review”. theguardian.com.
Billington, Michael. “The room that roared”. The Guardian, pp. G2: 19 - 20.
Billington, Michael. “White out”. theguardian.com.