Thatcher's Theatre: British Theatre and Drama in the Eighties


The Thatcher administration of 1979 to 1990 had a profound and apparently lasting effect on British drama and theatre. This book examines the effect of Thatcherite ideology and policies on British theatre of that period. It begins by defining "Thatcherism" and illustrating its cultural influence. It then examines the consequences of the imposition of Thatcherite policies through the agency of the Arts Council of Great Britain. Having established this political and cultural environment, the book considers in detail the effect on the subject-matter and dramatic and theatrical discourse of left-wing drama and on the subsidized political theatre companies which proliferated during the 1970s. Attention is then given to the development of "constituency theatres," such as Women's and Black Theatre, which assumed an oppositional cultural stance and, in some cases, attempted to develop characteristic theatrical and dramatic discourses. The volume concludes with a look at the effect of Thatcherite economicpolicy and,ideology on new writing and performance.


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