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Before the Fall: Looking Back on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “This Other Eden” Season (2001)

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Contemporary Drama in English
DateAccepted/In press - 29 Mar 2018
DatePublished (current) - 4 May 2018
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)176-190
Original languageEnglish


This paper argues for a reassessment of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “This Other Eden” season, which presented a range of new work in London in early 2001. It places the season in its historical context, in a British political landscape dominated by New Labour and its optimism about remaking the nation, and also in a world that within six months was to experience the turmoil of the September 11th attacks. Using Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History as a starting point, this essay analyses the ‘time-hop’ dramaturgies of two of the season’s plays in particular, Moira Buffini’s Loveplay and Luminosity by Nick Stafford. The turn of the millennium marked the beginning of the end for Adrian Noble’s tenure as Artistic Director of the RSC, and this paper argues that the placeless quality of the “This Other Eden” season – neither wholly a product of Stratford nor London – was symptomatic of tensions at the time, both within this flagship national organisation and in the nation at large.

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© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

    Research areas

  • Royal Shakespeare Company, dramaturgy, history play, postmodern, time, time slip

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