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Performing Evaluation in the Theatre of Claire Dowie

Maguire, Tom (2011) Performing Evaluation in the Theatre of Claire Dowie. In: Narrative in Drama. Contemporary Drama in English,. (Eds: Toennies, Merle and Flotmann, Christina), WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, pp. 93-106. ISBN 9783868213157 [Book section]

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In William Labov’s (1967) six-part analysis, he draws attention to the process of evaluation as a key structural component of narrative. Evaluation refers to those parts of the narrative through which the narrator assigns significance to the events of the narration. In this paper, I analyse how this process of evaluation is both an element of the verbal account of the fictional world of the story and, crucially, an important feature of the performance, using examples from the work of writer and performer, Claire Dowie. Dowie has coined the term ‘stand-up theatre’ to describe her particular form of narrative drama in plays for the solo performer such as Adult Child/Dead Child (1987), Drag Act (1993)and Leaking from Every Orifice (1993). The paper compares and contrasts the performance of evaluation in her piece for a single actor Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt? (1990) and her two-hander, Death and Dancing (1992). The argument of the paper is that the physical presence of the performer has to be considered as a fundamental structural component of the narrative in performance. Moreover, the deployment by Dowie of the performer’s ‘vocabulary of gesture’ ensures that the ideological force of the work is carried in large part through this performance of physical evaluation.

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:stand-up theatre; Claire Dowie; gesture in performance; evaluation;
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Arts > School of Creative Arts and Technologies
Research Institutes and Groups:Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Arts and Humanities Research Institute > Creative Arts and Technologies
ID Code:18726
Deposited By: Dr Thomas Maguire
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 09:09
Last Modified:03 Sep 2013 08:55

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