Magnificence (play)

Magnificence is a 1973 play by English playwright Howard Brenton. It has two plotlines. Firstly, five far-left revolutionaries squat an unoccupied house in London. Secondly, a Conservative cabinet MP loses faith in himself. The two plotlines converge in the final scene, where Jed (one of the revolutionaries) accidentally kills both himself and the MP with plastic explosive.

The published text of the play takes as its epigraph lines from Brecht's Die Maßnahme:

Sink into the mire
Embrace the butcher
But change the world.

Stage history

Magnificence premiered at the Royal Court Theatre on 28 June 1973 with the following cast:

It was directed by Max Stafford-Clark, designed by William Dudley and the lighting was by Andy Phillips.

a wonderful piece of theatre


  1. Brenton: Plays One Methuen 1986 ISBN 978-0-413-40430-5

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