Add-Aptation: Simon Stephens, Carrie Cracknell and Katie Mitchell’s ‘Dialogues’ with the Classic Canon

Bull, John (2018) Add-Aptation: Simon Stephens, Carrie Cracknell and Katie Mitchell’s ‘Dialogues’ with the Classic Canon. Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, 6 (2). pp. 280-299. ISSN 2195-0164

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1515/jcde-2018-0026

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Abstract

This article discusses, in particular, the playwright Simon Stephens’s “English Language versions” of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in the context of the long and tangled history of translation and adaptation. Key differences from the conventional claim to be attempting some kind of fidelity to the original in Stephens’s approach to the task of creating a new text are considered: an approach which largely adheres to the overall narrative structure of the original but feels free to play with, in particular, the dialogue. This approach is then contrasted with the act of ‘appropriation’ of an existing text: whilst the act of appropriation results in the creation of an independent play that exists alongside the original, although Stephens actively disrupts expectations of fidelity, his version is still offered as a play by Ibsen or Chekhov. The process is further problematized by the directorial interventions of Carrie Cracknell and Katie Mitchell, working independently and in collaboration with Stephens on their productions of A Doll’s House and The Cherry Orchard respectively. I have labelled this process Add-Aptation, to distinguish it from both adaptation per se and appropriation. In an add-apted text the additions are both deliberate and significant Not the least significant factor in this process is that both directors are women, as is increasingly likely to be the case in the world of contemporary theatre.

Keywords:Contemporary Theatre, Appropriation, Adaptation, Translation, Add-Aptation, Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Katie Mitchell, Carrie Cracknell, Simon Stephens
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:34823
Deposited On:28 Jan 2019 13:43

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