Suspect Device: British Subsidised Theatre’s Response to the Iraq War, 2003-2011

Cotterell, Laurence C. N. (2019) Suspect Device: British Subsidised Theatre’s Response to the Iraq War, 2003-2011. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/ARTS5862

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This thesis explores the most significant British subsidised theatre that was created in response to the Iraq War. Suspect Device: British Subsidised Theatre’s Response to the Iraq War, 2003-2011 looks to examine how British theatre’s contemporary forms became increasingly politicised and adapted to critique the material circumstances of a contentious Middle Eastern war. This work analyses the theatre of the Iraq war using Cultural Materialism and a range of postructuralist and postmarxist methodologies. Suspect Device investigates the key plays of the period in terms of their presentation of the politics of the initial invasion, as well as the ensuing issues of war trauma and the British soldier’s experience as a part of the coalition. The British domestic response to the publicised issues of new forms of prison, war crimes and the presentation of the victim is extrapolated in terms of contemporary plays. This thesis also explores selected plays for domestic youth created in response to the PREVENT strategy and how theatre became a contentious politicised instrument. The work examines how an apparent shortfall in cultural empathy for the victims of the war was understood and explained in terms of a theatre working within a climate of wide-scale commodification. Suspect Device investigates pivotal plays across a number of British locations and genres with the aim of establishing common trends and styles of form and content. It attempts to determine if the postmodern forms of contemporary theatre responded with a re-emergent sense of the material. There has been much work on theatre around the ‘War on Terror’ but, as yet, little that considers the Iraq War specifically and in terms of its response, commercialisation and domestic form.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Iraq war 2011-2013; British subsidised theatre; PREVENT strategy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 18 May 2021 14:38
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:22

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