By V. Angelaki
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Additional info for Contemporary British Theatre: Breaking New Ground
As Punk Rock opens, William asks Lilly where she’s living. ‘At the top of Broadstone Road,’ she tells him. 32 In Pornography, a character promises another ‘I’ll have your tea ready for you. I’ll cook you something nice. ’33 In Stephens’s work, ‘nice’ is 18 Contemporary British Theatre almost always a guileless word of praise, a character artlessly affirming something about the world. ) This tone is so complex because the characters are naive but we are given no reassurance that their authors are any less so.
The answer came from Barker himself. Speaking to 8 Contemporary British Theatre The Guardian in the context of the new production, he defiantly declared that ‘[a] good play puts the audience through a certain ordeal […] I’m not interested in entertainment’ and went on to add ‘I write from ignorance. ’5 The presence of Barker’s work, even in the form of one of his most accessible plays, at the National was no ordinary feat. In a way, the uncompromising dramatic past was firing a shot as to the unexpected dramatic future – an indication, perhaps, that nothing can be easily assumed any more about either the artistic establishment or the medium itself.
12 It is tempting to think that Britain’s famously – or, if you prefer, notoriously – writer-centred theatre has finally begun to adopt 12 Contemporary British Theatre the principles of poststructuralism and that we are watching authors dissolve into their texts, yielding to the demands of the readerly text, deflecting to Jacques Derrida’s principle of différance, abdicating from what Michel Foucault calls the ‘author function’. You may be able to tell from my authorial interventions in that last paragraph, inflating and parodying the rhetoric of the antiintentionalists, that I am not convinced this is the right interpretation of what has been taking place.
Contemporary British Theatre: Breaking New Ground by V. Angelaki