A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Theatre and Performance

book cover.JPGThis book aims to ‘expand’ the scope of the sort of practices and theoretical approaches that have been the mainstay of feminist theatre and performance criticism for at least a decade.

Less concerned with identifying and re-marking scholarly and genre boundaries, it seeks to identify and explore the sorts of concerns that appear to speak strongly to a large number of women across fields, forms, mediums, audiences and generations. This accepting that this ‘speaking’ may sometimes takes the form of dialogue, sometimes debate.

While the main focus is on almost wholly overlooked female-authored and ‘women-centred’ works drawn from the popular mainstream and the commercial fringe, this book embraces experimental’ practice where relevant. It seeks to explore these works in terms of continuities between second wave feminism and postfeminism, the academic and the popular sphere, rather than as is usually the case perceiving these ideas and sites as being ‘in opposition’ to each other.

Ultimately, the objective is to explore the possibilities of ‘affective solidarity’ between women through the theatrical. The emphasis is largely on issues of femininity, embodiment and affect and the book draws on a wide number of theorists from Sonia Kruks to Sara Ahmed, Jacques Ranciere to Simone de Beauvoir. Works discussed range from New Burlesque performances, West End musicals, commercial touring shows in local ‘civic’ theatres and stand up comics