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Humanities 2019, 8(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010058

“Divided by a Common Language”: The Use of Verbatim in Carol Ann Duffy and Rufus Norris’ My Country; A Work in Progress

Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Education, Palacký University, 771 47 Olomouc, Czech Republic
Received: 22 November 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Public Place of Drama in Britain, 1968 to the Present Day)
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Abstract

‘My Country; A Work in Progress’ written and arranged by the poet Carol Ann Duffy is a verbatim play that uses interviews conducted with people from various regions in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to explore the causes of the EU referendum result. With the recent rise of populism across Europe, Britain, and America, an increased scepticism of established news media organisations, and a widespread disillusionment with the so-called political elite class, verbatim theatre’s “claim to veracity” and use of real-life testimonies seems to provide an attractive forum for both playwrights and audiences to investigate the underlying causes prompting these political and social movements. This paper examines how Duffy’s highly-fragmented arrangement of My Country’s verbatim voices in tandem with their re-citation and reterritorialization in the bodies of the performers on the stage ironically undermines the “claim to veracity” that its verbatim approach implies. View Full-Text
Keywords: verbatim theatre; brexit; contemporary British society; British theatre verbatim theatre; brexit; contemporary British society; British theatre
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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O’Brien, S. “Divided by a Common Language”: The Use of Verbatim in Carol Ann Duffy and Rufus Norris’ My Country; A Work in Progress. Humanities 2019, 8, 58.

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