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‘Brecht in Practice’: Critical Reflections on Staging Drama Dialectically

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Publication details

JournalContemporary Theatre Review
DateAccepted/In press - 24 Aug 2020
DatePublished (current) - 17 Sep 2021
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)266-85
Original languageEnglish


This article reflects critically on the AHRC-funded ‘Brecht in Practice: Staging Drama Dialectically’, a practice-as-research project. It draws on material provided by a production of Patrick Marber’s Closer (2016) and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (2017) as a way of setting out a critical method for staging realistic drama. In both cases, Brechtian stagings were able to identify unspoken politics in the plays and bring these out in a way that problematized central themes and characters without seeking to resolve the issues raised for the audience. In the course of the analysis, the arguments move from the commonalities experienced in rehearsing both productions to the specific challenges of each. The article concludes with a critical review of the strategies undertaken, highlighting the potential of such an approach while also understanding its limitations.

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© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group, 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

  • Brecht, arthur miller, patrick marber, Political theatre, dialectical theatre, the crucible, closer


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