McGrath, John

   b. 1935, Birkenhead
   Playwright and theatre director
   John McGrath is a Scot who has worked as both playwright and director in the theatre. His work generally comes from a very left-of-centre perspective, and he is known for, among other plays, A Satire of the Four Estates which he wrote for and directed at the 1996 Edinburgh Festival. It was based on the well-known sixteenth-century Scottish morality play Ane Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis by Sir David Lindsay. This latter play, in the mode of Everyman, attacked corruption in the church among other targets. McGrath transposed the setting to politics, where Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Rupert Murdoch (‘Lord Merde’) were demonized, and the idea of Scottish nationalism was promoted.
   See also: community theatre
   MIKE STORRY

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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