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In-yer-face Theatre: British Drama Today [Paperback]

Aleks Sierz
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Mar 2001 Theatre Books

The most controversial and newsworthy plays of British theatre are a rash of rude, vicious and provocative pieces by a brat pack of twentysomethings whose debuts startled critics and audiences with their heady mix of sex, violence and street-poetry.

In-Yer-Face Theatre is the first book to study this exciting outburst of creative self-expression by what in other contexts has been called Generation X, or Thatcher's Children, the 'yoof' who grew up during the last Conservative Government. The book argues that, for example, Trainspotting, Blasted, Mojo and Shopping and F**king are much more than a collection of shock tactics - taken together, they represent a consistent critique of modern life, one which focuses on the problem of violence, the crisis of masculinity and the futility of consumerism. The book contains extensive interviews with playwrights, including Sarah Kane (Blasted), Mark Ravenhill (Shopping and F**king), Philip Ridley (The Pitchfork Disney), Patrick Marber (Closer) and Martin McDonagh (The Beauty Queen of Leenane).

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In-yer-face Theatre: British Drama Today + Sarah Kane: Complete Plays (Methuen Contemporary Dramatists)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (5 Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571200494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571200498
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.5 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aleks Sierz is Visiting Professor at Rose Bruford College, and teaches at the London branch of Boston University. He is author of In-Yer-Face Theatre: British Drama Today (Faber, 2001), The Theatre of Martin Crimp (Methuen Drama, 2006), John Osborne's Look Back in Anger (Continuum, 2008) and Rewriting the Nation: British Theatre Today (Methuen Drama, 2011). He is editor of The Methuen Drama Book of 21st Century British Plays (2010) and The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights (2011). He is a member of the UK Critics' Circle and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. He also works as a journalist, broadcaster, lecturer and theatre critic (for Tribune, The Stage and The Arts Desk).

Product Description

From the Publisher

'A definitive new book on the phenomenon [of in-yer-face theatre]' Saturday Telegraph

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
On 4 November 1998, a small but lively audience filled the Pleasance theatre in north London for the opening night of Snatch, a seventy-five-minute play by twenty-one-year-old Peter Rose. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Sierz argues that much 1990s British theatre can be characterised as possessing a shared sensibility, which he labels 'in-yer-face'. He is referring here to work by Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, Patrick Marber, Alex Nielson, Joe Penhall, Phyllis Nagy, Jez Butterworth and others - edgy, violent, graphic and, for Sierz, 'experiential'. By this he means the plays don't debate issues so much as put the audience through the experience they explore - not literally, of course, but emotionally. There was certainly a new and exciting mood in th theatre in the 90s, though whether everyone will agree with Sierz's definition of it is another matter. I persnally found his arguments convincing and was impressed by his fair-minded and thorough approach to the topic, and by the depth of his research. His book is an excellent introduction to the theatre of the past ten years, and a thought-provoking one. In the same class as 'The Theatre of the Absurd', 'Anger and After' or Elsom's 'British Theatre Since 1945', though some will consider Sierz's concentration on playwrights an antiquated approach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! 7 Feb 2012
By Liam100
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fantastic book - Extremely informative and well written. Language used is very accessable for all levels and would be useful to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in theatre / drama or performance studies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exellent 12 July 2011
This book is amazing! I bought it mainly for college work but i found it hard to put down. A must for any performing arts students!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading 16 Mar 2009
By Rannius
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very easy read and a good introduction to the 90's newer playwrights. The first chapter is particularly useful as a contextualisation of violence, (graphic or otherwise), on the modern stage, identifying this as staple diet for western theatre, citing Oedipus as a prime example. This book acts as a good starting point for debate amongst A2 level students or even 1st year undergraduates as to how far boundaries have been widened and where to next.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book to write an essay on Saah kane with and could not put it down. it is written in such a straight forward accessible and interesting way that it becomes not only a source of research but a really great read as well. It is written by a man who totally understands the theatre he is writing about and the aims and stylea of the palywrights he focuses on. it includes interviews with the likes of Ravenhill and kane, media reactions to their plays, insights into the workings of the royal Court Theatre and The Bush theatre and is a must for any one studying or interested in contemporary nineties theatre, or anyone wanting a good, exciting, well written and factual read about theatre in general. its a fascinating worthy read. i loved it.
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