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Theatres in the Round

Multi-ethnic, Indigenous, and Intertextual Dialogues in Drama


Edited By Dorothy Figueira and Marc Maufort

This collection of essays explores some of the avenues along which the field of comparative drama studies could be reconfigured at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It offers a comparative analysis of theatre across national and linguistic boundaries while simultaneously acknowledging newer trends in ethnic studies. Indeed, the contributors to this critical anthology productively combine traditional comparative literature methodologies with performance approaches and postcolonial perspectives. In this way, they shed new light on the intertextual, multi-ethnic, and cross-cultural dialogues linking theatrical traditions from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific region. This book’s broad scope bears testimony to the fact that transnational studies can fruitfully illuminate the multiple dramatic voices of our increasingly globalized age.


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Geoffrey V. Davis “Uncomfortable Truths about Contemporary Britain”: Black and South Asian Theatre in the U.K. 25


“Uncomfortable Truths about Contemporary Britain”: Black and South Asian Theatre in the U.K. Geoffrey V. DAVIS Aachen University You don’t want to come out of the theatre thinking, “Oh, that was all right, I suppose.” If the audience comes out and they’re weeping, or they’re freaked or shocked, then I’ve done my job. That’s what good theatre should always do – move you. (Tanika Gupta, qtd. in Roberts Evening Standard 7 August 2007) In a recent interview Kwame Kwei-Armah forthrightly describes the present time in the history of Black British culture as a Renaissance which will come to equal that of the Harlem Renaissance. He speaks of the rewards and the recognition currently being accorded Black artists who, in his estimation, are now producing work of the highest standard (Kwei-Armah “This Is a Cultural Renaissance” 246). The evidence for this appraisal is not far to seek and not only in fiction and film, where in recent years Black and South Asian artists have come to the fore. In the world of the theatre, too, their presence has become ubiquitous and is increasingly visible of late at the country’s major theatrical institutions. Kwame Kwei-Armah’s own plays Elmina’s Kitchen and Fix Up have enjoyed productions at the National Theatre in London; the former went on to play the Garrick Theatre and has thus been hailed as the first Black play to be staged in the West End for thirty years. Roy Williams’s play Sing Yer Heart out for the Lads has similarly been...

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