CDE Studies 31

Korbinian Stöckl

Love in Contemporary British Drama: Traditions and Transformations of a Cultural Emotion.

Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2021.
ISBN 9783110714647, 294 pp., hardb., € 99,95 (2021)

Despite the recent turn to affects and emotions in the humanities and despite the unceasing popularity of romantic and erotic love as a motif in fictional works of all genres, the subject has received surprisingly little attention in academic studies of contemporary drama. Love in Contemporary British Drama reflects the appeal of love as a topic and driving force in dramatic works with in-depth analyses of eight pivotal plays from the past three decades.
Following an interdisciplinary and historical approach, the study collects and condenses theories of love from philosophy and sociology to derive persisting discourses and to examine their reoccurrence and transformation in contemporary plays. Special emphasis is put on narratives of love’s compensatory function and precariousness and on how modifications of these narratives epitomise the peculiarities of emotional life in the social and cultural context of the present.
Based on the assumption that drama is especially inclined to draw on shared narratives for representations of love, the book demonstrates that love is both a window to remnants of the past in the present and a proper subject matter for drama in times in which the suitability of the dramatic form has been questioned.


CDE Studies 30

Cyrielle Garson

Beyond Documentary Realism: Aesthetic Transgressions in British Verbatim Drama.

Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2021.
ISBN 9783110696691, 384 pp., hardb., € 99,95 (2021)

Verbatim theatre, a type of performance based on actual words spoken by “real people“, has been at the heart of a remarkable and unexpected renaissance of the genre in Great Britain since the mid-nineties. The central aim of the book is to critically explore and account for the relationship between contemporary British verbatim theatre and realism whilst questioning the much-debated mediation of the real in theses theatre practices.


CDE Studies 29

Jan Suk

Performing Immanence: Forced Entertainment.

Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2021.
ISBN 9783110710953, 194 pp., hardb., € 79,95 (2021)

Performing Immanence: Forced Entertainment is a unique probe into the multi-faceted nature of the works of the British experimental theatre Forced Entertainment via the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.
Jan Suk explores the transformation-potentiality of the territory between the actors and the spectators, namely via Forced Entertainment’s structural patterns, sympathy provoking aesthetics, audience integration and accentuated emphasis of the now. Besides writings of Tim Etchells, the company’s director, the foci of the analyses are devised as well as durational projects of Forced Entertainment. The examination includes a wider spectrum of state-of the-art live artists, e.g. Tehching Hsieh, Franko B or Goat Island, discussed within the contemporary performance discourse.
Performing Immanence: Forced Entertainment investigates how the immanent reading of Forced Entertainment’s performances brings the potentiality of creative transformative experience via the thought of Gilles Deleuze. The interconnections of Deleuze’s thought and the contemporary devised performance theatre results in the symbiotic relationship that proves that such readings are not mere academic exercises, but truly life-illuminating realizations.


CDE Studies 28

Mireia Aragay and Martin Middeke (eds.)

Of Precariousness. Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities, Communities in 21st-Century British Drama and Theatre.

Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2017.
ISBN 9783110546743, 241 pp., hardb., € 102,95 (2017)

Drawing primarily on Judith Butler’s, Jacques Derrida’s, Emmanuel Levinas’s and Jean-Luc Nancy’s reflections on precariousness/precarity, the Self and the Other, ethical responsibility/obligation, forgiveness, hos(ti)pitality and community, the essays in this volume examine the various ways in which contemporary British drama and theatre engage with ‘the precarious’. Crucially, what emerges from the discussion of a wide range of plays – including Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, Caryl Churchill’s Here We Go, Martin Crimp’s Fewer Emergencies and In the Republic of Happiness, Tim Crouch’s The Author, Forced Entertainment’s Tomorrow’s Parties, David Greig’s The American Pilot and The Events, Dennis Kelly’s Love and Money, Mark Ravenhill’s Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat, Philip Ridley’s Mercury Fur, Robin Soans’s Talking to Terrorists, Simon Stephens’s Pornography, theTheatre Uncut project, debbie tucker green’s dirty butterfly and Laura Wade’s Posh – is the observation that contemporary (British) drama and theatre often realises its thematic and formal/structural potential to the full precisely by reflecting upon the category and the episteme of precariousness, and deliberately turning audience members into active participants in the process of negotiating ethical agency.


2019 Graz

Theatre of Crisis. Aesthetic Responses to a Cross-Sectional Condition
Report Conference Homepage
(Selected conference papers will be published in JCDE 8.1, 2020.)


2018 Hildesheim

Fear and Anxiety in Contemporary Drama and Performance
Report Conference Homepage
(Selected conference papers will be published in JCDE 7.1, 2019.)


2017 Reading

„Nation, Nationhood and Theatre“
Report • (Selected conference papers will be published in JCDE 6.1, 2018.)


CDE Studies 27

Ariane de Waal
Theatre on Terror: Subject Positions in British Drama.

Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2017.
ISBN 978-3-11-051708-8, 297 pp., hardb., € 99,95 (2017)

In a moment of intense uncertainty surrounding the means, ends, and limits of (countering) terrorism, this study approaches the recent theatres of war through theatrical stagings of terror. Theatre on Terror: Subject Positions in British Drama charts the terrain of contemporary subjectivities both ‘at home’ and ‘on the front line’. Beyond examining the construction and contestation of subject positions in domestic and (sub)urban settings, the book follows border-crossing figures to the shifting battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan. What emerges through the analysis of twenty-one plays is not a dichotomy but a dialectics of ‘home’ and ‘front’, where fluid, uncontainable subjects are constantly pushing the contours of conflict. Revising the critical consensus that post-9/11 drama primarily engages with ‘the real’, Ariane de Waal argues that these plays navigate the complexities of the discourse – rather than the historical or social realities – of war and terrorism. British ‘theatre on terror’ negotiates, inflects, and participates in the discursive circulation of stories, idioms, controversies, testimonies, and pieces of (mis)information in the face of global insecurities.