Márta Minier

Adapting 'Real-life' Material: Metatheatrical Configurations of Authorship and Ownership of Story in Contemporary British Verbatim Theatre

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Informations and abstract

Keywords: Verbatim Theatre; Contemporary British Drama; Adaptation; Metatheatre; David Hare; Alecky Blythe; Chris Goode.

This article argues for the relevance of adaptation as a theoretical paradigm in the discussion of contemporary British verbatim theatre. It does so by contextualising and examining a particular modality of metatheatricality in three representative examples of the genre: David Hare's "The Power of Yes" (2009), Alecky Blythe's "Little Revolution" (2014) and Chris Goode's "Monkey Bars" (2012). Focusing on a hitherto marginal aspect within the discussion of verbatim drama, the study will enquire into how the metatheatrical dramatisation of the author figure (The Power of Yes, Little Revolution) and the interviewer figure (Monkey Bars) highlights the craftedness of the play in this mode of the "theatre of the real" (Martin 2010: 1). The reflexivity within the plays to be discussed helps us consider the intermedial features present not only in their performance but also detectable in the process of their making. These plays weave the research processes typical of the verbatim genre into their plots or dramaturgical frameworks. While a verbatim play in performance may come across as seamless on the surface, verbatim performance invites us to engage with the media - the channels - of its intermedial fabric, and it displays how it works through these channels.

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