Why Tennessee Williams Endures

Tennessee-Williams-002A production of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” starring Rachel Weisz, is about to open in London. Critic Michael Billington has taken the occasion to unpack his theories about Tennessee Williams (pictured). Especially: “Some of Williams’s later work borders on self-parody, but the best of his plays will endure the ravages of time, for a number of reasons: there is his capacity to write great parts for actors, for one thing; his instinctive love of the marginalised and defeated; and his fervent opposition to any form of tyranny, whether domestic or political. As Williams once wrote (significantly, he used capital letters): “to be an Artist is to be a Revolutionary”, whose words are always feared and misunderstood. It’s time to acknowledge that, inside the complex state of Tennessee, existed a natural rebel.”

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