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Social housing in performance: the English council estate on and off stage

Social housing in performance: the English council estate on and off stage

Beswick, Katie, author

This book explores the ways that council estates have been represented in England across a range of performance forms. Drawing on examples from mainstream, site-specific and resident-led performance works, it considers the political potential of contemporary performance practices concerned with the council estate. Depictions of the council estate are brought into dialogue with global representations of what Chris Richardson and Hans Skott-Myhre call the 'hood', to tease out the specific features of the British context and situate the work globally. Katie Beswick's study provides a timely contribution to the ongoing national and global interest in social housing. As the housing market grows ever more insecure, and estates are charged with political rhetoric, theatre and socially engaged art set or taking place on estates takes on a new potency. Mainstream theatre works examined include Rita, Sue and Bob Too and A State Affair at the Soho Theatre, Port at the National Theatre, and DenMarked at the Battersea Arts Centre. The book also explores the National Youth Theatre's Slick and Roger Hiorns' Seizure, as well as community-based and resident led performances by Fourthland, Jordan McKenzie, Fugitive Images and Jane English

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published London: Methuen Drama, 2019
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Statement of responsibility: Katie Beswick
ISBN: 1474285201, 9781474285209
Physical Description: xiii, 220 pages
Series: Methuen Drama engage
Subject: Plays, playscripts; Public housing in literature.; Theaters Stage-setting and scenery.; Public housing Great Britain Drama.; Social & cultural history; Theatre direction & production; Performing Arts.
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Series Title: Methuen Drama engage.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9781474285216


  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Three places: a preface
  3. Introduction: The council estate, definitions and parameters
  4. Chapter one: Quotidian performance of the council estate
  5. Chapter two: Class and the council estate in mainstream theatre
  6. Chapter three: Located on the estate
  7. Chapter four: Resident artists
  8. Conclusion: Three thoughts
  9. Notes
  10. Bibliography
  11. Index