The Politics of Performance^ addresses fundamental questions about the social and political purposes of performance through an investigation into post-war alternative and community theatre. It proposes a theory of performace as ideological transaction, cultural intervention and community action, which is used to illuminate the potential social and political effects of radical performance practice. It raises issues about the nature of alternative theatre as a movement and the aesthetics of its styles of production, especially in relation to progressive counter-cultural formations. It analyses in detail the work of key practitioners in socially engaged theatre during four decades, setting each in the context of social, political and cultural history and focusing particularly on how they used that context to enhance the potential efficacy of their productions. The book is thus a detailed analysis of oppositional theatre as radical cultural practice in its various efforts to subvert the status quo. Its purpose is to raise the profile of these approaches to performance by proposing, and demonstrating how they may have had a significant impact on social and political history.

chapter |12 pages


In quest of performance efficacy

part |2 pages

Part I Theory and issues

chapter 1|26 pages

Performance, community, culture

chapter 2|26 pages

Reception, scale, terminologies

chapter 3|26 pages

Carnival, agit prop, celebratory protest

part |2 pages

Part II A history of alternative and community theatre

chapter 4|37 pages

Experimentation in the 1960s The community dramas of John Arden

Byand Margaretta D’Arcy

chapter 5|36 pages

Consolidation in the 1970s The popular political theatre of John McGrath

The popular political theatre of John McGrath and 7:84 Theatre Company
Byand 7:84 Theatre Company

chapter 6|38 pages

Reorientation in the 1980s

The community plays of Ann Jellicoe and the Colway Theatre Trust

chapter 7|37 pages

Fragmentation in the 1990s?

The celebratory performance of John Fox and Welfare State International