Chapter

Political acts

Frances Babbage

in Re-Visioning Myth

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780719067525
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701782 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719067525.003.0003
Political acts

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This chapter discusses three plays born of second-wave feminism that examine the political potential of re-visioning myths: the monologues The Same Old Story and Medea, co-authored by Franca Rame and Dario Fo (1977), and Sarah Daniels' realist drama Neaptide (1986). Yet if theatre-making is inherently political, as Julia Varley suggests, any such selection may be challenged: why these texts rather than others? First, the discussions presented here aim to facilitate analysis of the political beyond Varley's claim that theatre is already, of itself, resistant. Plays have been chosen in which engagement with political subjects is self-conscious and systematic rather than, in a sense, a coincidence of their theme. Further, these plays manifestly assume a partisan position: they are left-wing in viewpoint, voicing the concerns of those whom society makes vulnerable; they aim to expose and fight injustices, and to provoke in their audiences a heightened recognition of the necessity for social change. Yet whatever analysis such plays offer, a politics of content alone is insufficient to address questions of efficacy.

Keywords: plays; feminism; re-visioning; myths; Same Old Story; Medea; Neaptide; politics; social change; injustices

Chapter.  17815 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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