“Bernard Shaw said you should try everything once except folk dancing and incest.”

img_2725This is how Michael Billington, “the” British theater critic, who has reviewed more than 9000 plays over the last 50 years, begins his piece on “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles. Charming, gossipy, insightful, authoritative, knowledgeable, and passionate, Billington is a great writer. It’s hard to imagine what kind of person wouldn’t discover something interesting here. Despite his blind spot – he seems to think that an older, white, male view is the default rather than an unjust construct – his four-page summaries of these 101 plays are packed with insights that only someone with great depth and breadth of experience could summon.

Michael Billington, The 101 Greatest Plays: From Antiquity to the Present (London: Faber & Faber Ltd., 2015), 21.

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