In recent years British theatre has seen a renaissance in playwriting that has been accompanied by a proliferation of writing awards, new writing groups and a ceaseless quest for fresh, authentic voices that will ensure the vitality and relevance of theatre in the twenty-first century. Rewriting the Nation is a perfect companion to Britains burgeoning theatre writing scene that will prove invaluable to anyone wanting a better appreciation of why British theatre - at its best - remains one of the most celebrated and vigorous throughout the world.The books opens by defining what is meant by new writing and providing a study of the system in which it is produced. It considers the work of the leading new writing theatres, such as the Royal Court, the Traverse, the Bush, the Hampstead and the National theatres, together with the London fringe and the work of touring companies. In the second part, Sierz provides a fascinating survey of the main preoccupations and issues that have characterised new plays in the first decade of the twenty-first century. It argues that while under New Labour economic, political and social change continued apace, generating anxiety and uncertainty in the population, theatre has been able to articulate not only those anxieties and uncertainties but also to offer powerful images of the nation. At a time when the idea of a national identity is hotly debated, British theatre has made its own contribution to the debate by offering highly individual and distinctive visions of who we are and what we might want to become. In examining the work of many of the acclaimed and emerging British playwrights the book serves to provide a narrative of contemporary British playwriting. Just as their work has at times reflected disturbing truths about our national identity, Sierz shows how British playwrights are deeply involved in the project of rewriting the nation.

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