A Form of Ethics: The Disrupted and Misappropriated Story in the Monodramas of Mark Ravenhill

Grochala, Sarah (2011) A Form of Ethics: The Disrupted and Misappropriated Story in the Monodramas of Mark Ravenhill. Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, 18. pp. 141-154. ISSN 2195-0164


This article explores the politics of disrupted and misappropriated narratives in Mark Ravenhill’s monodramas Product (Traverse, 2005) and The Experiment (Southwark Playhouse, 2009). The subject matter of both of these monodramas concerns harmful acts. In The Experiment, we are told the story of a man who finds himself involved in some experiments on children, while in Product we are told the story of a suicide bomber. This paper will argue that both these monodramas can be read as questioning the commonly held assumption that the dramatic narrative has value to society because it is a medium through which we can come to understand both other people and the reasons for any harmful actions they commit. It will position the dramatic narrative as a structure which society utilises to judge the acceptability or unacceptability of people’s actions and examine the idea that the narration of a harmful act makes it more acceptable to us. It examine the ways in which the process of narration in the Western dramatic narrative, rather than enabling us to see the world through the eyes of Others, reconfigures the actions of Others within a viewpoint that is entirely our own.


Final Draft - Sarah Grochala - CDE Ravenhill.doc

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