'Chavs', 'Gyppos' and 'Scum?' class in twenty-first-century drama

Adiseshiah, Sian (2016) 'Chavs', 'Gyppos' and 'Scum?' class in twenty-first-century drama. In: Twenty-first century drama: what happens now? Palgave, London, pp. 149-171. ISBN 9781137484024

Full text not available from this repository.

Item Type:Book Section
Item Status:Live Archive


This chapter responds to a revival of interest in social class, particularly working-class identity, class relations and class exploitation on theatre stages and in scholarship in the twenty-first century. The focus is on Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem (2009), Simon Stephens’ Port (2002) and Gillian Slovo’s The Riots (2011) and the ways in which these plays engage in a twenty-first-century class politics, and more particularly, participate in forms of political subjectivization of working-class identity as abject, racialized, excessive and stagnant – in opposition to a normative personhood of taste, restraint, moral attunement, flexibility, and the ability to self-script. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu, Jacques Rancière, Beverley Skeggs and Imogen Tyler, the chapter considers whether these plays discover ways in which to articulate working-class subjectivity in forms that resist assimilation to already familiar classed ways of knowing and offer distinctively new forms of political theatre that intervene transgressively in the struggle over the contemporary meaning of class.

Keywords:Jez Butterworth, Simon Stephens, Gillian Slovo, Verbatim Theatre, Social Class, Contemporary Drama, twenty-first century drama, Jerusalem, The Riots, Port
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W310 Musicianship/Performance studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q321 English Literature by period
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
Relation typeTarget identifier
ID Code:23383
Deposited On:12 Jul 2016 13:36

Repository Staff Only: item control page