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The Anti-Shakespearean Cocktail Hour

Moody, D. (2011) The Anti-Shakespearean Cocktail Hour. [Play] [Creative Output]

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This play, written by the researcher, explored the issue of gender and tragedy in Shakespeare’s great tragedies, taking four heroines: Lady Macbeth, Ophelia, Desdemona and Tamora. The characters are staged as meeting after death and discussing their limited agency within Shakespeare’s scripts. It interrogated the issue of the relationship between the female character’s voice and the authorial voice of the Master Author, and the links between voicelessness sexuality, sexual violence and death in the tragedies. It used a post-modern performative methodology modeled on Elizabeth Wright’s development of the feminist, post-modern Brechtian epic theatre. The character of Shakespeare was also explored, using queer cross-dressing to explore the limits and consequences of bardolatry in terms of the construction of gender in canonical work, especially Shakespeare. Central to this exploration is the cross—dressing of the author, and his/her exposing as a female author. This links to Virginia Woolf’s famous positing of the life of a female Shakespeare. Central to the play’s deconstruction of gender in Shakespeare is the moment at the end of the play when the voiceless Tamora, victim of a rape in which she is mutilated andher tongue removed, recovers her powers of speech, and makes a Brechtian, actorly intervention in the performance, providing an overt and theoretically inscribed feminist moral. This ironic ending is itself a self-conscious play on the act of deconstruction itself, and the problematic way it is positioned in regards to the canonical work.

Item Type: Creative Output
Written byMoody, David
ActorMcQueen, Laurinne
ActorJermy, Emma
ActorSyms, Lizzy
UNSPECIFIEDJohnson, Katrina
UNSPECIFIEDWestall, Mikala
UNSPECIFIEDDowning, Rochelle
Company Credits: Mood Theatre, Murdoch University
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher's Website:
Other Information: Murdoch University. Nexus Theatre 9 - 19 March 2011
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