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A Concise Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Drama



A Concise Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Drama

Nadine Holdsworth (Editor), Mary Luckhurst (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-73907-5 April 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 304 Pages


Focusing on major and emerging playwrights, institutions, and various theatre practices this Concise Companion examines the key issues in British and Irish theatre since 1979. Written by leading international scholars in the field, this collection offers new ways of thinking about the social, political, and cultural contexts within which specific aspects of British and Irish theatre have emerged and explores the relationship between these contexts and the works produced. It investigates why particular issues and practices have emerged as significant in the theatre of this period.

List of Illustrations ix

Notes on Contributors x

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1
Nadine Holdsworth and Mary Luckhurst

Part I National Politics and Identities 5

1 Europe in Flux: Exploring Revolution and Migration in British Plays of the 1990s 7
Geoff Willcocks

2 'I'll See You Yesterday': Brian Friel, Tom Murphy and the Captivating Past 26
Claire Gleitman

3 Black British Drama and the Politics of Identity 48
D. Keith Peacock

4 Northern Irish Drama: Speaking the Peace 66
Tom Maguire

Part II Sites, Cities and Landscapes 85

5 The Production of 'Site': Site-Specific Theatre 87
Fiona Wilkie

6 Staging an Urban Nation: Place and Identity in Contemporary Welsh Theatre 107
Heike Roms

7 The Landscape of Contemporary Scottish Drama: Place, Politics and Identity 125
Nadine Holdsworth

Part III The Body, Text and the Real 147

8 The Body's Cruel Joke: The Comic Theatre of Sarah Kane 149
Ken Urban

9 Physical Theatre: Complicite and the Question of Authority 171
Helen Freshwater

10 Verbatim Theatre, Media Relations and Ethics 200
Mary Luckhurst

Part IV Science, Ethics and New Technologies 223

11 Theatre and Science 225
David Higgins

12 From the State of the Nation to Globalization: Shifting Political Agendas in Contemporary British Playwriting 245
Dan Rebellato

13 Theatre for a Media-Saturated Age 263
Sarah Gorman

Index 283

“This volume provides valuable insight into the issues and practices of contemporary theater.  Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.”  (Choice, 1 January 2014)

"As an introduction to contemporary British and Irish drama and its literature, this Blackwell concise companion is excellent.... But be careful, intellectual stimulation is certain!" (Reference Reviews, April 2009)