Using Marxist analogy as a critical lens, explore the ways in which radical theatre challenges the capitalist ideologies of commercial theatre

Ware, Jade (2015) Using Marxist analogy as a critical lens, explore the ways in which radical theatre challenges the capitalist ideologies of commercial theatre. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation uses Marxist analogy to challenge the capitalist values and ideologies of commercial theatre by comparing it to the ways in which radical theatre create performance as a reaction against it. This establishes the positive effects it has the theatre industry, such as providing theatre to disadvantaged communities and the lower classes. Using commercial theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh as an example, Theodore Adorno's concept of the Culture Industry is employed to highlight the negative effects of the escapist values of commercial theatre by inhibiting its audience's political imagination. This dissertation also explores the ways in which the radical theatre company, The Welfare State International, react against commercial theatre and consequently the culture industry in order to create anti-capitalist theatre. Karl Marx's idea of modes of productions is used as a method to illustrate the economical and social conditions that the two theatrical forms operate under. This highlights their complex relationship and it is argued that despite their opposing ideologies, radical theatre is reliant on commercial theatre as a dominant opposing force in order to it to have an anti-capitalist incentive to work against. This analysis is further strengthened by Louis Althusser's theory of ideology, in order to avoid to Marxist concept of economical determinism. As a result, it is established that theatrical practices can serve as a medium to challenge capitalist ideologies. Walter Benjamin's concept of 'aura' is employed to analyse Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children under the direction of Deborah Warner. It is established that Warner made relevant changes to the context of the piece which suits the changed social and historical conditions of her audience, however her aesthetic modernisations and set design contradicts the political and ritual values of epic theatre.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2016 12:05
    Last Modified: 23 Dec 2016 12:05
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22733

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