STAGING A POSTDRAMATIC PERFORMANCE: SIMON STEPHENS?S NUCLEAR WAR

Abstract

Author(s): Mesut G├ťNEN├ç*

The second part of the twentieth century has been influenced by in-yer-face aesthetics exemplified by innovative and shocking tragedies of the representative playwrights such as Howard Brenton, Mark Ravenhill and Sarah Kane. In the beginning of the twenty first century verbal and political theatre have been defined by the plays of Martin Crimp, Tim Crouch and Simon Stephens within the context of 1999 Hans Thies Lehmann’s ground-breaking study Postdramatic Theatre. Stephens latest play Nuclear War (2017) represents postdramaticity to its most extreme form. nameless woman character in the play, mourning the loss of a loved man on the seventh anniversary of his death, always staggers around the city and sometimes speaks by the help of a chorus of four actors-dancers and thoughts inside her head, searches connection, affection and sexual fulfilment. On the other hand, Simon Stephens’s latest play Nuclear War can be analysed within the context of postdramatic traits. Hans Thies Lehmann’s deconstructs traditions of pre-dramatic and dramatic theatre and especially his notion of postdramatic traits are well suited to describe postdramatic performance in Stephens’s play. Applying postdramatic theory and traits, this paper will analyse postdramatic performance in Nuclear War.

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