The Political Theatre of David Edgar

The Political Theatre of David Edgar : Negotiation and Retrieval

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David Edgar's writings address the most basic questions of how humans organize and govern themselves in modern societies. This study brings together the disciplines of political philosophy and theatre studies to approach the leading British playwright as a political writer and a public social critic. Edgar uses theatre as a powerful tool of public discourse, an aesthetic modality for engaging with and thinking/feeling through the most pressing social issues of the day. In this he is a supreme rationalist: he deploys character, plot and language to explore ideas, to make certain kinds of discursive cases and model hypothetical alternatives. Reinelt and Hewitt analyze twelve of Edgar's most important plays, including Maydays and Pentecost and also provide detailed discussions of key performances and critical reception to illustrate the playwright's artistic achievement in relation to his contributions as a public figure in British cultural more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 324 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 15 b/w illus.
  • 1139118846
  • 9781139118842

Table of contents

1. Introduction: political commitment and performative practice; 2. Intervening in public discourse: Edgar as discursive arbiter; 3. Things fall apart: after ideology in Continental Divide and Maydays; 4. Governing memberships: Destiny, Playing with Fire and Testing the Echo; 5. A legend in your own time: The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs, Mary Barnes and Albert Speer; 6. Socialism's aftermath: The Shape of the Table, Pentecost and The Prisoner's Dilemma; 7. Conclusion: negotiating more

Review quote

"Janelle Reinelt and Gerald Hewitt's meticulously researched and clearly argued book offers a timely and refreshing way of looking at a dramatist whose socially committed work over four decades has established him as one of the most accomplished and influential political playwrights in Britain." --Comparative Dramashow more

About Janelle Reinelt

Janelle Reinelt is Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Warwick. She was President of the International Federation for Theatre Research from 2004 to 2007, and is a former editor of the Theatre Journal. Her books include After Brecht: British Epic Theatre, Critical Theory and Performance with Joseph Roach, The Performance of Power with Sue-Ellen Case and The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Women Playwrights with Elaine Aston. She is the series editor, with Brian Singleton, of 'Studies in International Performance'. Gerald Hewitt is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Political Science at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California and Research Fellow in the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick. He was a founding faculty member of the School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific and Department Chair of the Department of Political Science. His areas of expertise include political theory, jurisprudence and modern European history and more