John barton is a gifted theatrical anthologist. His assemblage of Shakespeare history plays, The Wars of the Roses, was justly and highly praised, as were other such projects, like The Hollow Crown and The Greeks, which Peter Hall characterised as “a paste-up of Sophocles, Homer, Euripides and Barton.” Because, according to Hall, the latter anthology “worked,” he encouraged Barton to take the Greek myths and give them, so to speak, his own “spin.” The result is Tantalus, written to fill two days and (to Barton’s irritation) reduced by Hall to one-a total of nine plays spread over some 12 and…
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