The Contemporary Political Play: Rethinking Dramaturgical Structure

Grochala, Sarah (2017) The Contemporary Political Play: Rethinking Dramaturgical Structure. Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, London. ISBN 9781472588463


This book explores the role that particular dramaturgies play in our understanding of what is and what is not a political play within the context of contemporary British theatre. It asks the question why certain theatrical forms are identified as having political efficacy, while others are disregarded as non-political or politically irresponsible. It argues that, within a British context, there is a specific form of theatre, ‘serious drama’, that is commonly recognized as political. Serious drama yokes together the dialectical discussion of a political issue with a realist dramaturgy in a way that is thought of as producing political efficacy. This book argues that a range of recent British plays whose forms lie outside the realm of serious drama can also be thought of as having political efficacy on the basis of the politics of their form, even when they do not address an explicitly political issue in their content. This book analyses the politics of these plays in terms of the ways in which their dramatic structures re-imagine fundamental social structures (such as temporal, spatial and causal structures) through their form. As Bourdieu, Jameson and LeFebvre argue, concrete shifts in the political character of society involve a shift in the social structures that underlie it. In order to create political change, the social subject needs to be able to imagine how their social reality could be structured differently. A play that articulates a politics of form, re-imagining the structures of social reality through its structures, allows the social subject to access a vision of a social reality structured on fundamentally different principles. This book analyses the work of a range of British playwrights from the post-Thatcher era (including Churchill, Crimp, tucker green, Kane, Neilson, Pinter and Ravenhill) on this basis and argues that the innovative forms of their plays reflect shifts in the political character of contemporary British society.


Full text not available from this repository.

Export and Share

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email