“Roughening up of the utterance” or “It’s not all mountains and sheep and Emily Dickinson.”: How contemporary practitioners test boundaries of verse drama?

Journal article


Lech, K. 2020. “Roughening up of the utterance” or “It’s not all mountains and sheep and Emily Dickinson.”: How contemporary practitioners test boundaries of verse drama? Coup de Théâtre. 34, pp. 161-179.
AuthorsLech, K.
Abstract

The start of a new millennium has brought about a resumed interest in verse as a theatrical language through which to engage with contemporary audiences. This essay engages with works in verse and hybrid forms created between 2009 and 2019 and presented predominantly in Ireland and the UK. The discussion stretches across a wide selection of dramatic texts and theatrical performances that test the boundaries of verse drama and its traditions in English-language theatre. These works use verse and verse-like forms, mixing them with crude language, slam-poetry, Hip-Hop, and opera to create a platform for individual, generational, and class stories as well as responses to local and global politics. Verse also appeals to artists engaged in transmedia and intermedia practices that exceed the boundaries of theatre. The works presented draw from opportunities that have arisen from English as a global language in the context of its histories, increased mobility of people, tensions between local and global, digital media, and various cultural traditions. Through text and performance analysis, the essay argues for abandoning the exclusivity of verse drama and looking at verse drama in the broader context of the revived interest of contemporary theatre in verse and its hybrid forms.

KeywordsVerse; Theatre; Hip Hop; Transmedia; Global English
Year2020
JournalCoup de Théâtre
Journal citation34, pp. 161-179
PublisherRecherches sur les Arts Dramatiques Anglophones Contemporains
ISSN0752-5494
Related URLhttp://radac.fr/index.php/en/journal/
Publication dates
Print2020
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Jan 2021
Accepted author manuscript
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All rights reserved
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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