It's a simple idea, really. 1. Wear a uniform; 2. Protect who you love, what you care about; 3. Let nothing get in your way. Someone mugged Bruce's mum and he is not having it. The shock is still visible in her trembling fingers, rippling out across the calm waters of their lives. He grabs his hoodie, his uniform, his cape and goes out to find the culprit. Smithy wants everyone to stay inside, Uhuru wants everyone out. Tanya thinks it's boyish fun and games until, very suddenly, it isn't. Inua Ellams's play questions the boundaries between our right to self-defense and taking the law into our own hands. Told with five roles spanning from young people to adults, it deals with themes that young people face today: the role of boundaries and what happens when someone 'crosses the line'; fear and the use of self-defense; and examining different perspectives on a situation. Originally commissioned by Synergy Theatre Project Cape premiered at London's Unicorn Theatre in 2013 and went on to tour schools, prisons and a young offender institution. This new edition, published within Methuen Drama's Plays For Young People series features notes for teachers and exercises for students for practical use in the classroom.
Dramaturgy of Form examines verse in twenty-first-century theatre practice across different languages, cultures, and media. Through interdisciplinary engagement, Kasia Lech offers a new method for verse analysis in the performance context. The book traces the dramaturgical operation of verse in new writings, musicals, devised performances, multilingual dramas, Hip Hop theatre, films, digital projects, and gig theatre, as well as translations and adaptations of classics and new theatre forms created by Irish, Spanish, Nigerian, Polish, American, Canadian, Australian, British, Russian, and multinational artists. Their verse dramaturgies explore timely issues such as global identities, agency and precarity, global and local politics, and generational and class stories. The development of dramaturgy is discussed with the focus turning to the new stylized approach to theatre, whose arrival Hans-Thies Lehmann foretold in his Postdramatic Theatre, documenting a turning point for contemporary Western theatre. Serving theatre-makers, scholars, and students working with classical and contemporary verse and poetry in performance contexts; practitioners and academics of aural and oral dramaturgies; voice and verse-speaking coaches; and actors seeking the creative opportunities that verse offers, Dramaturgy of Form reveals verse as a tool for innovation and transformation that is at the forefront of contemporary practices and experiences.
"I go half way round the world and back thinking I’d made some sort of discovery and come back to find the same damn lies, the same white lies, the same black lies." Alvin and Errol can’t picture much of a future for themselves. They’re young, Black and living in England in the 1980s, with an entire country and political system set against them. Instead they focus firmly on their past – the sunny Caribbean and heroic father they left behind when their mother brought them to England twenty years ago. But when Alvin returns home from his grandfather’s funeral a new version of their past emerges, and the two brothers are caught in a desperate struggle to unearth the truth about their existence. Powerful and compelling, Strange Fruit by Caryl Phillips (winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) is the story of a family caught between two cultures, and the uncrossable no man’s land that can come between parents and their children.
Performing Epic or Telling Tales takes the new millennium as a starting point for an exploration of the turn to narrative in twenty-first-century theatre, which is often also a turn to Graeco-Roman epic. However, the dominant focus of the volume is less on 'what' the recent epic turn in the theatre consists of than 'why' it seems to be so prevalent: this turn is explained with reference not only to the translation and scholarly histories of the epics, but also to earlier performance traditions and, notably, to recent theoretical debates relating to text-based 'drama' and performance based 'theatre'. What is perhaps most remarkable about this epic turn is not simply the sheer number of outstanding performances that it has produced; it is also that recent practice appears to have outstripped much theoretical discussion about theatre. In chapters ranging from spoken word performances to ballet, from the use of machines and technology to performances that make space for voices occluded by the ancient epics, Performing Epic or Telling Tales seeks to contextualize and explain the 'narrative'/storytelling (re-)turn in recent live performances - a turn that regularly entails engagement with ancient Graeco-Roman epics, which have long provided poets, playwrights, artists, and theatre makers with a storehouse of rich, often perceived as 'raw', material. Refigured and refracted for the modern era, the epics of ancient Greece and Rome are found to be particularly revealing, and particularly 'telling' of the contemporary wider cultural sphere.