OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Performing Epic or Telling Tales

ISBN : 9780198846581

Price(incl.tax): 
¥10,043
Author: 
Fiona Macintosh; Justine McConnell
Pages
176 Pages
Format
Hardcover
Size
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Feb 2020
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Performing Epic or Telling Tales takes the new millennium as a starting point for an exploration of the turn to narrative in twenty-first-century theatre, which is often also a turn to Graeco-Roman epic. However, the dominant focus of the volume is less on 'what' the recent epic turn in the theatre consists of than 'why' it seems to be so prevalent: this turn is explained with reference not only to the translation and scholarly histories of the epics, but also to earlier performance traditions and, notably, to recent theoretical debates relating to text-based 'drama' and performance based 'theatre'.

What is perhaps most remarkable about this epic turn is not simply the sheer number of outstanding performances that it has produced; it is also that recent practice appears to have outstripped much theoretical discussion about theatre. In chapters ranging from spoken word performances to ballet, from the use of machines and technology to performances that make space for voices occluded by the ancient epics, Performing Epic or Telling Tales seeks to contextualize and explain the 'narrative'/storytelling (re-)turn in recent live performances - a turn that regularly entails engagement with ancient Graeco-Roman epics, which have long provided poets, playwrights, artists, and theatre makers with a storehouse of rich, often perceived as 'raw', material. Refigured and refracted for the modern era, the epics of ancient Greece and Rome are found to be particularly revealing, and particularly 'telling' of the contemporary wider cultural sphere.

Index: 

Frontmatter

List of Illustrations

1 Performing Epic Now

2 Telling Tales on Stage

3 Telling Tales with Words

4 Telling Tales with the Body

5 Telling Tales with Machines

6 Telling Other Tales

7 Afterword

Endmatter

Bibliography

Index

About the author: 

Fiona Macintosh is Professor of Classical Reception, Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (APGRD), and Fellow of St Hilda's College at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Dying Acts: Death in Ancient Greek and Modern Irish Tragic Drama (Cork University Press, 1994), Greek Tragedy and the British Theatre, 1660-1914 (with Edith Hall; OUP, 2005), and Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus (CUP, 2009), and has also edited numerous APGRD volumes, including most recently The Oxford Handbook of Greek Drama in the Americas (with Kathryn Bosher, Justine McConnell, and Patrice Rankine; OUP, 2015), Epic Performances from the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century (with Justine McConnell, Stephen Harrison, and Claire Kenward; OUP, 2018), and Seamus Heaney and the Classics: Bann Valley Muses (with Stephen Harrison and Helen Eastman; OUP, 2019).; Justine McConnell is Lecturer in Comparative Literature at King's College London. She is the author of Black Odysseys: The Homeric Odyssey in the African Diaspora since 1939 (OUP, 2013), and co-editor of four volumes: Ancient Slavery and Abolition: From Hobbes to Hollywood (with Edith Hall and Richard Alston; OUP, 2011), The Oxford Handbook of Greek Drama in the Americas (with Kathryn Bosher, Fiona Macintosh, and Patrice Rankine; OUP, 2015), Ancient Greek Myth in World Fiction since 1989 (with Edith Hall; Bloomsbury, 2016), and Epic Performances from the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century (with Fiona Macintosh, Stephen Harrison, and Claire Kenward; OUP, 2018).

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