An American Psycho in London: merriment and mirth and the West End musical

O'Thomas, Mark (2014) An American Psycho in London: merriment and mirth and the West End musical. In: PCA Conference, 16-19 April 2014, Chicago.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho was published to mixed critical acclaim and some controversy in 1991where its popularity with its emergent fan base equalled its notoriety as an adult, top-shelf novel dealing with unspeakably obscene acts. Nine years later, the novel was adapted into a film which resulted in a similarly polarised critical reception and further adaptations, sequels and creative responses have followed. The American Psycho source text – itself a nostalgic fiction set in the previous decade of the 1980s – has thus provided the inspiration for a number of nostalgic adaptations. At the end of 2013, London became the location for the world première of a musical adaptation of the novel which met with almost universal critical acclaim and a run that sold out within days of tickets going on sale. In this paper, I will explore the twin towers of radicalism and nostalgia that are deeply embedded in American Psycho (book, film and musical) as a way of understanding the means through which the adaptation process and product might be understood. In doing so, I will consider both the relationship of reception to form and the positionality of the adapters in a process where emerging discourses from sociology and cognitive poetics may willingly and wilfully come into play.

Keywords:Adaptation, Musical Theatre, 9/11
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:13844
Deposited On:27 Apr 2014 10:03

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