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Graham Dillistone
Working in the Following Genre:
Full-Length Plays

Graham Dillistone started writing plays early on in his life. The original London production of The Caretaker made a strong impression on him, and he began producing dialogue that was superficially trivial but full of hidden meaning. He wrote a sub-Pinteresque comedy of menace which miraculously drew the attention of the great theatrical agent Peggy Ramsay, although not quite in the way he would have liked. ‘The author is,’ she said in her report to a colleague, ‘a skilled professional writer, but not in touch with the kind of plays being written today.’ So that was the end of Graham’s avant garde period. In due course he went back to more traditional dramatic structures for guidance, with Shaw and Ibsen as the main influences.

With the novel, meanwhile, he had some small success. C. P. Snow, the novelist and scientist, read his futurist political thriller, The Devil’s Engineering, (written under the pseudonym Richard Stone) and gave it a strong endorsement. This enabled him to secure publication in the UK and also in Germany. A second novel, The Death Program, was published in Germany. More recently he has issued several ‘thrillers of ideas’ as ebooks.

In his work for the stage he has always preferred comedy. Selfish Genes reflects upon the dilemmas introduced by new technologies such as DNA paternity testing, but the main focus is on the human dilemma of the small man caught up in the stratagems of the powerful. Somehow Brian Tailgate, the play’s main protagonist, has to oversee the testing of dozens of youngsters hoping to establish a blood link with a wealthy and very promiscuous politician, now deceased, a process that brings disruption and grief to vulnerable families, including his own, but which also brings a chance for personal growth.
Full-Length Plays
 Selfish Genes 

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