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The death of Jack Rosenthal has been met by a near total critical failure to examine the record of one of the greatest playwrights of the age of television

By David Herman   July 2004

The shamefully muted response of the press to the death of Jack Rosenthal tells us a great deal about our continued failure to take television seriously. Apart from the obituaries, there have been almost no serious critical evaluations of his work. Yet Rosenthal was one of the great television dramatists. He wrote a dozen television plays which are among the best yet written. No one else has won the Bafta best play award three years running. The death of any comparable figure from the theatre or cinema would have received more notice.

Rosenthal’s career also tells us a lot about…

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