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One Million Tiny Plays About Britain by [Taylor, Craig]
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One Million Tiny Plays About Britain Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Length: 225 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'Like the best playwrights, [Taylor's] characters have independent and spontaneous lives of their own contained within a carefully constructed dramatic architecture. Within his little worlds we see glimpses of the oddness, the quiet desperation, and the occasional tenderness of the lives of others. The plays are an original form: dramatic haikus' (Richard Eyre)

'Taylor's plays are acutely observed, exquisitely crafted tragicomedies, rooted in bitter or absurd truths. Through their tiny aperture they provide a detailed picture that sparks an all-important jolt of recognition which is, by turns, comical, satisfying and highly discomforting. They take all of one minute to read, but will make you think for a great deal longer' (Sunday Telegraph)

'One Million Tiny Plays About Britain reads like a digest of the nation's soaps, with a little bit of Alan Bennett and The Vicar of Dibley thrown in' (Times Literary Supplement)

Book Description

Alan Bennett meets Ricky Gervais in these brilliantly observed, incredibly funny and sometimes poignant snapshots of life in Britain today. As featured in the Guardian Weekend magazine

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1843 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (1 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058CMSLO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186,854 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Like others, I first came across these tiny plays in the Guardian some years ago, well described in the introduction to the collecton as: 'dramatic haiku'. I thought then what an interesting challenge it might be for students of theatre and performance to try staging them.

With the author's permission I have just finished working with a number of the plays, over a seven week process of rehearsal and performance with 29 final year students at Aberystwyth University's Theatre Film and TV Department. Just I had imagined they were challenging and really fascinating texts to explore, and my students had a great time interpreting the ones we chose, developing the back-stories for the characters; writing other scenes of their own inspired by Taylor's wonderfully succint and witty style and weaving the fragments into a whole performance entitled:'Overheard'.

The audience response was warm and positive. Many told us how touched they were by the plays and like us, felt them to be incredibly 'tender' and poignant, whilst at the same time causing huge smiles and laughter. We have leaned much from these 'tiny plays' and I heartily recommend this collection to anyone who appreciates that edge between the comic and the tragic from which most of our lives are constituted.
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Format: Hardcover
Actually 95 short (and in one case , just one sentence in length) little playlets set in various places around the UK and usually consisting of conversation between just 2 people.

The dialogue has the feel of conversations overheard in public places or in peoples' homes. The tone varies from mildly amusing to funny to sadder humour in the vein of Alan Bennett.

Overall I enjoyed the book, it's great for dipping into when you only have a few minutes to spare.
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Format: Hardcover
By turns laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreakingly poignant, Craig Taylor's collection of dramatic miniatures is an object lesson in how to tell stories without ever wasting a word. With formidable economy of style, Taylor takes us on a theatrical tour of Great Britain, from Richmond to Rotherham and from Louth to Leeds.

The pieces are truly tiny (some as short as a line or two) but deceptively so for in the small amount of space they occupy on the page they create vividly drawn characters and situations. Taylor's skill is in creating dialogue which has the quality of an overheard conversation and yet, on closer inspection, is beautifully structured.

This is a wonderful collection to dip in and out of: enormously enjoyable, often hilarious, always thought-provoking. A terrific read.
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
All human life is here. People at bus stops, people in shops, people on public transport and in restaurants; people talking at cross purposes and people having arguments; angry people, happy people, sad people, disappointed people. All the little plays in this collection are very short as the title suggests but all portray a slice of life. Some are funny and some are sad and some quite chilling - the man talking to the animal rights campaigners is scary as are the two young men talking about stabbing someone.

You might hear the same sort of conversations in your daily life and the author has a gift for making them come alive so that you can imagine them actually taking place and almost hear the dialogue. I found this book compulsive reading and had to go on to the next one even though I kept thinking I'd save some for later. It is a good book to dip into because each play is complete in itself and would be an idea book to read during a daily commute.
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Format: Hardcover
This was always the best part of the Guardian magazine and I have to say the collection of these Tiny Plays does not disappoint. They are funny and true and little bursts of charm which I have been dipping in and out of since I bought a copy. This is going to be my default gift of 2009.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These tiny plays, some merely a few words, consist of snippets of conversation which sum up all that is British - both good and bad. From a rather drunk woman declaring her love for a totally disinterested man, to a funeral director attempting to convince a woman that her son would rather be buried in Beckham's Man Utd shirt than the one she has chosen, this has our slightly cynical side to perfection. In other scenes there is our ability to ignore the obvious rather than face it, summed up with a woman refusing to admit that her son has a male lover. Others are very poignant, moving and some funny. My personal favourite was the two rubbish collectors, with one attempting to make up stories to make the time pass, to his colleagues despair and irritation! This is a very interesting collection of all that is great, and awful, about our country - but very relevant and extremely clever.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These are delightfully short playlets originally featured in standalone pieces in the Guardian newspaper. Collected in one volume, this compilation offers a glimpse of the mundane through the snatches of everyday dialogue around Britain (which the playwright supposedly overheard), which ranges from the uproariously funny to the touchingly tender.

Each of the 94 playlets are numbered, with a short description, and this rather concise introduction works surprisingly well, as the reader launches straight into the midst of the dialogue and discover what the issue is. It could be an insight into the social mores, like the two elderly women who fight to pay for tea at a cafe in Lichfield, till the politeness turns into something of a power struggle.

In another snippet, a young man tries to sell his copy of a Bob Dylan album at a used record shop in Derby, and unwittingly upsets the guy behind the counter,a serious music aficionado who is shocked with his lackadaisal attitude to what he obviously esteems as high art. However, the young man fails to see what the fuss is about:

Tim: Not a big fan of him.
Bill: 'Him'? Sort of like saying you're not a fan of breathing.
Tim: I never heard anything by Breathing.

A businessman, Alan, laments about his foreign domestic help to his friend Gordon. When he refers to her as Latvia, Gordon is surprised, and Alan explains: "I just think it's disrespectful when you don't know how to say someone's name properly. So this works."

In capturing what people say in a direct manner, Taylor manages to reveal how sometimes we say more than we know, and are none the wiser for how transparent and contradictory we are. The plays work because they make an acute observation of how people talk but fail to communicate, or even if they do, they listen only to what they want to, filtering out the rest.
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