This is part of a series of books that explores the work of dramatists. This particular book looks at the lasting appeal of Sheridan and Goldsmith's comedies, showing how they operate on a profound imaginative level and draw on their author's experiences as Irish wits on an English scene. Their dramatic technique's are examined in relation to physical features of the 18th century stage. A chapter on sentimental comedy relates plays such as Hugh Kelly's "False Delicacy" to the balance of irony and sentiment in Goldsmith's "The Good Natur'd Man" and Sheridan's "A Trip to Scarborough". The continuing freshness of the comedy of mistakes, masks and harlequin-like role playing which the two playwrights draw from the operatic and theatrical conventions of their day is illustrated by comparison with modern productions.
KATHARINE WORTH is Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies in the University of London and Honorary Research Fellow, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College. She is known as a writer on Beckett and modern Irish and English drama.