Recycled culture: the significance of intertextuality in twenty-first century musical theatre

Rush, Adam Christopher and Jones, Kelly and Dean, Rob (2017) Recycled culture: the significance of intertextuality in twenty-first century musical theatre. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
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Abstract

The twenty-first century musical is dominated by high-profile adaptations and the recycling of popular texts in a wider trend Graham Allen terms ‘cultural regurgitation’. From Wicked (2003) and Billy Elliot the Musical (2005) to Jersey Boys (2005) and The Book of Mormon (2011), the commercial musical stage is a prominent site of high-profile intertextuality in that it draws from ‘innumerable centres of culture’ to fuel an evening’s entertainment. Given the proliferation of such intertextuality, however, this trend has received little critical attention beyond the detailing of these musicals as ‘safe-bet’ entertainments which attract an audience through the recycling of familiar elements.
The primary aim of this thesis is therefore to fill an important gap within existing scholarship by investigating how intertextual references function and operate within contemporary musical theatre. In differentiating the various styles of intertextual reference evidenced within the form, this thesis argues that most twenty-first century musicals either adapt a specific text, capitalise on nostalgia, fashion a bricolage of references or metatheatricalise perceptions of musical theatre as an art form. In doing so, it put forwards the claim that musical theatre invites intertextuality as a diverse layering of textual elements in and of itself. Not only is musical theatre an inherently intertextual form, but it ultimately requires intertextuality to reflect the recycled nature of popular culture more broadly.

Keywords:Musical theatre
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:27701
Deposited On:21 Jun 2017 09:52

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