Biography of Edward Bond

Edward Bond is an English playwright, theorist, and director who is known for his radical ideas about society and an unflinching depiction of violence in his work. His best-known play Saved, written in 1965, played a major part in the overturning of censorship in British theater, and was controversial at the time of its premiere.

Bond grew up in a working-class North London family and was deeply influenced by World War II and the bombings he witnessed in the city. After leaving school at 15, Bond worked various jobs and worked in the British Army occupation forces in Vienna in 1953. There, he was struck by the violent impulses he saw manifesting in the most everyday interactions, and began writing. His first play, The Pope's Wedding, was staged at the Royal Court Theatre in 1962. He followed this with Saved, a story about working-class tragedy and violence, which also premiered at the Royal Court. While The Lord Chamberlain's Office, citing a century-old censorship law, sought to make Bond remove a controversial scene in which a baby gets stoned to death, he and his director refused, which was majorly influential in changing censorship rules in England.

Bond's other plays include the surrealistic Early Morning, about a lesbian affair between Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale, Lear, a take on Shakespeare's King Lear, a translation of Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening, a comedy called The Sea, and Bingo, a play about Shakespeare's relationship with his landlord.

Bond continued to write prolifically throughout the 1970s and 80s, writing more politically charged plays such as The Woman, The Worlds, and Restoration. He has continued to write and his work has received newfound attention in the 21st century.

Study Guides on Works by Edward Bond

Saved is a play written by the British playwright Edward Bond, which had its premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, a well-established London theatre, in 1965. Featuring what is still one of the most shocking scenes in the history of British theatre...