Right from the centre: The dramaturgy of right-wing politics in Chris Hannan’s What Shadows (2016), Chris Bush’s The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (2018), and Rob Drummond’s The Majority (2017)

Hudson, James (2021) Right from the centre: The dramaturgy of right-wing politics in Chris Hannan’s What Shadows (2016), Chris Bush’s The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (2018), and Rob Drummond’s The Majority (2017). Studies in Theatre and Performance . ISSN 1468-2761

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Many Fine People on Both Sides: The Dramaturgy of Far-right Politics on the Recent UK Stage
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Abstract

Reactionary retrenchment in UK society, including the resurgence of national chauvinism and anti-immigration sentiment, has recently stimulated explorations of right-wing politics in theatre. This article offers a reading of three recent productions that illuminate the way that reactionary politics is currently framed, explored and interrogated in UK theatre: What Shadows (2016) by Chris Hannan, Chris Bush’s The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (2018), and Rob Drummond’s The Majority (2017). The article argues that these pieces’ approach towards right-wing politics emerges from anxiety over ideological polarisation and a perceived breakdown in communication in political discourse. It suggests that this attempt to generate nuance, objectivity and complexity while dispensing criticism equally across both poles of left and right on the political spectrum implicitly works to authorise a ‘moderate’ centrist position. While the thesis of each play functions to validate a centrist position that is presumed to be automatically reasonable, the article considers the potential liabilities inherent in such dramaturgical framing in broaching topics that relate in particular to to the far right and reactionary right.

Keywords:right wing politics, reactionary politics, Theatre, performance, Rob Drummond, Chris Bush, Chris Hannan, Centrist politics, Tone policing
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:41076
Deposited On:18 Jun 2020 15:33

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