Jason Mark Ward
Contemporary African Drama and Greek Tragedy
Astrid Van Weyenberg
The opening chapters focus on plays that mobilize Greek tragedy to inspire political change, discussing how Sophocles’ heroine Antigone is reconfigured as a freedom fighter and how Euripides’ Dionysos is transformed into a revolutionary leader.
The later chapters shift the focus to plays that explore the costs and consequences of political change, examining how the cycle of violence dramatized in Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy acquires relevance in post-apartheid South Africa, and how the mourning of Euripides’ Trojan Women resonates in and beyond Nigeria.
Throughout, the emphasis is on how playwrights, through adaptation, perform a cultural politics directed at the Europe that has traditionally considered ancient Greece as its property, foundation, and legitimization. Van Weyenberg additionally discusses how contemporary African reworkings of Greek tragedies invite us to reconsider how we think about the genre of tragedy and about the cultural process of adaptation.
Against George Steiner’s famous claim that tragedy has died, this book demonstrates that Greek tragedy holds relevance today. But it also reveals that adaptations do more than simply keeping the texts they draw on alive: through adaptation, playwrights open up a space for politics. In this dynamic between adaptation and pre-text, the politics of adaptation is performed.
Papers from The Sixth Münster Symposium on Jonathan Swift
Edited by Hermann J. Real, Kirsten Juhas and Sandra Simon
Nick Enright said that collaboration was one of his favourite aspects of the theatrical process, and it is only fitting that one of the high points of his career was the collaborative experience of adapting Tim Winton’s novel Cloudstreet to the stage. Working in partnership with his former student Justin Monjo, Enright created a rare piece of theatre which came to be hailed by many critics and patrons alike as the most significant Australian play since Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. A phenomenal success upon its opening at the 1998 Festival of Sydney, Enright and Monjo’s Cloudstreet proceeded to tour Australia and overseas to great acclaim over the next three years.
The Play and Reviews
Edited by Richard J. Hand
This generously illustrated volume presents the complete script of Macdonald Hastings’s play, the collected theatre reviews of the production, and the stage censor’s confidential report on the script. The volume also features a substantial introduction placing the original novel and its subsequent dramatization in a stimulating critical and cultural context.
Revisiting History and Art
adaptation, or to be precise the Malayalam (one of the vernacular languages of India) adaptation which took place on 22 December 2009 in Kerala was based on the translation of the play by the Malayalam poet Kadaminitta. The play was produced by Silicon Media and the production was dedicated to Beckett on the
An Actor’s Playwright
Edited by Anne Pender and Susan Lever
In this volume Anne Pender and Susan Lever present a set of essays and recollections about Nick Enright’s work for students, teachers and scholars. The book offers a comprehensive study of Enright’s writing for theatre, film and television. Scholars, acting teachers and theatre directors have contributed to this work each illuminating an aspect of Enright’s remarkable career. The discussions cover interpretations of Enright’s scripts and productions, detailed analysis of his directing style, substantial background and analysis of his writing for musicals, as well as accounts of his specific approach to acting and to adaptation across genres. The essays and recollections included in this book will inspire theatre practitioners as well as scholars. Most importantly, this book will inform and enlighten students and teachers both at high school and university about an exceptional career in the theatre.
Nick Enright and Terence Clarke’s musical adaptation of The Venetian Twins was a key production both for the Nimrod Theatre in particular and Australian “New Wave” artists in general. Its success as part of the Interim Season at the Sydney Opera House in 1979 confirmed that a latter-day “popular theatre” aesthetic had well and truly arrived. But a close look at the adaptation raises complicated questions about the nature of New Wave self-description. The judgement at the time that the play was lightweight and throwaway can now be seen to be false. So what exactly was “popular” about the production, and how were “popular theatre” techniques deployed in transposing Goldoni’s original material? This chapter focuses on the literary detail of the adaptation to show that part of the reason for its success lay in its use of a new polyglot cultural consciousness – not a rejection of classical dramatic conventions, but their subtle and winning renovation.
Most of Nick Enright’s screenplays were adaptations from other texts, or the telling of other people’s stories, and he wrote the award-winning scripts for Lorenzo’s Oil and Come in Spinner in collaboration with other writers. Nevertheless, all of Enright’s screenplays function like morality plays, asking questions about individual responsibility and the values of contemporary society. Often the moral questions focus on the body, particularly of a woman or child. In Come in Spinner, the women must deal with the implications of their sexual bodies; in Lorenzo’s Oil, the disintegrating body of Lorenzo Odone is central; in Blackrock, the dead and raped body of the girl lies behind a boy’s guilt; in ‘Coral Island’ Martin confronts AIDS. In each case, physical decline or destruction presents some moral crisis, particularly a central male character’s sense of guilt. This chapter examines the way that Enright allows these individual physical crises to reflect on the moral state of society. It gives particular attention to Lorenzo’s Oil and the complex way that Enright and Miller present conflicting aspects of attitudes to the body and the mind, the intellect and humanity.