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Forme del dissenso e fine dell'ideologia nella drammaturgia inglese degli anni novanta: Sarah Kane e Mark Ravenhill

English theatre of the Nineties has seen the rise of a new generation of playwrights whose work has pointed in a different direction from that of traditional theatre, both for the language and the themes involved. This research offers a critical perspective on the works of some of them: Sarah Kane and Mark Ravenhill in particular; but it also deals with single relevant plays by other contemporary playwrights, such as Philip Ridley’s “The Pitchfork Disney”, Martin Crimp’s “Attempts on Her Life”, Irvine Welsh’s “Trainspotting”, David Greig. There is a common attitude running through all these works, a new attention for the issues of contemporary society.
Taking social concern as my starting point, I have thus compared the work of these authors with the tradition of post-war political theatre in England.
In CHAPTER 1 I have reviewed the history of English theatre since 1956, from “Look Back in Anger” to 1979: the progressive rise of social concern which after 1968 turned into open political commitment by playwrights who strongly supported the socialist ideology.
CHAPTER 2 deals with the deep changes which occurred in British society under Thatcherism (1979-1990): the Right-Wing revolution which brought to radical cuts in funding for the Welfare State; the crisis of political theatre and socialist ideology which began in 1989 with the fall of Socialist Governments in Eastern Europe. I also analyse the political plays which Harold Pinter started to write in the mid-eighties (“One for the Road”, “Mountain Language”, “Party Time”). Pinter's political theatre is important, not only because his style influenced many of the playwrights of the nineties, but also because its attack on contemporary society, though radical, refused the support of any ideological standpoint.
In CHAPTER 3, 4, 5, I have analysed a brief selection of plays by the new playwrights of the Nineties mentioned above. All these authors put forward a strong moral critique of post-thatcherite society without however showing any faith in political ideology as a means of solving social inequity. This is in direct opposition to the socialist playwrights of the previous generation.
I claim that the pervading sense of death of ideology owes much to the spreading of postmodern theories at the level of mass culture. Philosophers like Baudrillard and Lyotard in the seventies played a pivotal role in exposing the arbitrary character of universalizing ideologies - those Lyotard called grand narratives -, whose only function lay in the legitimation of a particular social order. English playwrights of the nineties share this the rejection of narratives like Socialism, Progress, but also Christianity, as all-encompassing and coherent, thereby falsifying and simplistic, interpretations of reality. This brings to a pervading sense of hopelessness, which is reflected in the cynical, nihilistic and often violent character of this theatre.
Another important theme is the growing influence of mass media in the life of the individuals, who only experience reality through the filter of an unceasing flux of images who bear no relation to outside life. Virtual reality is a central theme in many of the plays considered, in particular Martin Crimp's Attempts on her Life, very effective in criticising the mechanisms of political conservatism hidden behind the apparent freedom of the information world.
The rejection of socialist ideology has led these playwrights to a growing distrust for the public dimension of individuals. Consequently, they deal with the social dimension mainly as reflected in the private sphere, from the point of view of personal relationship. Sarah Kane has been described as a writer who "talks about the political totally through the personal". Mark Ravenhill focuses on the commodification of huam relationships in today's post-consumeristic society.
In conclusion, I claim that perhaps the most significant contribution made by the English playwrights of the nineties to the development of a new theatrical language, lies in their opening to elements of popular mass culture, such as film, rock music and the visual arts. I ultimately hold that the "political" character of this new theatre lies in its ability to address younger audiences. Thanks to these authors theatre in England is becoming a truly popular cultural form again, facing the issues of contemporary society in a language effective and familiar to the younger generations.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
INTRODUZIONE Questo studio vuole esplorare alcuni tra gli autori teatrali protagonisti della scena inglese degli anni Novanta . Il teatro di questi autori presenta una fisionomia riconoscibile e tratti comuni di tale interesse che si è parlato di una “rinascita” nel teatro inglese di questo decennio. I termini precisi in cui si parla di “rinascita” sono diversi. Innanzitutto riguardano il numero insolitamente elevato di nuovi autori che hanno esordito nell’arco degli ultimi quattro o cinque anni. Tale dato è significativo soprattutto se confrontato con l’andamento del decennio precedente, gli anni Ottanta, nel corso dei quali la scena teatrale fu dominata prevalentemente dagli autori già affermatisi negli anni Sessanta e Settanta. Il secondo dato riguarda l’età: a parte poche eccezioni - ma del resto significative, come nel caso di Martin Crimp e Irvine Welsh -, i nuovi autori avevano tutti meno di trent’anni all’epoca del debutto. Sono quindi cresciuti nel decennio dominato dal governo conservatore di Margaret Thatcher, che ebbe profonde ripercussioni sulla società britannica, con la sua politica di forti tagli al Welfare State e l’imposizione alla vita civile dei principi liberisti dell’economia. Nei testi dei giovani autori degli anni Novanta è presente una forte rabbia nei confronti dei valori disumanizzanti e antisociali

Tesi di Laurea

Facoltà: Lettere e Filosofia

Autore: Riccardo Mini Contatta »

Composta da 249 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 4855 click dal 20/03/2004.

 

Consultata integralmente 18 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.