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Problems of Stasis in My Country: The National Theatre and the Crisis of General Enculturation in Post-Referendum Britain

Fisher, Tony (2019) Problems of Stasis in My Country: The National Theatre and the Crisis of General Enculturation in Post-Referendum Britain. Performance Research. ISSN 1352-8165 (In Press)

Abstract

This essay explores the discursive invocation of ‘civil war’ to describe the polarization of the political terrain in post-Referendum Britain in order to contextualize the National Theatre’s production of Carol Ann Duffy and Rufus Norris’s ‘verbatim’ play My Country and its representation of Brexit. It shows how the political reality of Brexit, understood as a crisis of ‘general enculturation’, undermined the NT’s attempt to transcend the impasse of the political context. It argues that in identifying the NT with the play’s central figure of Britannia, an image of reconciliation, the theatre failed to account for its own implication in the wider crisis of enculturation.

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