Sue Vice
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Versions of autobiography
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This chapter explores autobiographical elements in Jack Rosenthal plays such as P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang, Bye, Bye Baby, Eskimo Day and Cold Enough for Snow. Rosenthal writes in a distinctive way about each play in the trilogy in his autobiography, By Jack Rosenthal, to suggest a close but not exact relation between fact and fiction. Rather than describing the context of writing the plays, as he usually does, Rosenthal actually substitutes extracts from the P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang and Bye, Bye, Baby for autobiography. In each case, Rosenthal emphasises the links between life and art: he introduces the protagonist of The Evacuees as Danny (i.e. Jack), of P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang as Alan Duckworth (i.e. me) and of Bye, Bye, Baby as Leo (Jack). This is the case even though the autobiographical and dramatic material does not always match up. The presence of a self-consciously styled protagonist who is an equivalent for Rosenthal makes certain films, such as P'tang Yang Kipperbang and Bye, Bye, Baby, autobiographically based in a more conventional way.

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