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A good night out for the girls: popular feminisms in contemporary theatre and performance

A good night out for the girls: popular feminisms in contemporary theatre and performance

Aston, Elaine, author; Harris, Geraldine (Geraldine Mary), author

Moving across the boundaries of mainstream and experimental circuits, from the affective pleasures of commercially successful shows such as Calendar Girls and Mamma Mia! to the feminist possibilities of new burlesque and stand-up, this text offers a lucid and accessible account of popular feminisms in contemporary theatre and performance

Hardback, Book. English.
Published Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – One available in Main Collection 792.082/AST

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00316160 Main Collection 792.082/AST Standard Available


Statement of responsibility: Elaine Aston and Geraldine Harris
ISBN: 0230281036, 9780230281035
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: viii, 218 pages ; 23 cm.
Series: Performance interventions
Subject: Theatre; Feminism; Performing arts.; Feminism and theater.; Performing Arts.; Feminism and the arts.
Series Title: Performance interventions.


  1. Acknowledgements Introduction: 'A Good Night Out For the Girls' Jam and Jerusalem/ Sentimentality and Feminism: Calendar Girls Roaring Women and Class Acts: The Naked Truth and the Chippendales' Ultimate Girls Night Out Age Liberation: Susan Boyle, 'Grumpy Old Women' and Virginia Ironside's Monologues Once More with Feeling: Joanna Murray-Smith's The Female of the Species and Nic Green's Trilogy Work, Family, Romance and the Utopian Sensibilities of the Chick Megamusical Mamma Mia! The Ghosts of New Burlesque Entertaining Others: Shappi Khorsandi and Andi Osho 'Are We There Yet?'
  2. Final Reflections & Marisa Carnesky's Ghost Train Bibliography Index


'A fascinating, boundary-crossing book that combines the personal with the scholarly in exciting new ways. For this reader, the book provided a really good girls' night in.' - Susan Bassnett, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Warwick, UK

'Elaine Aston's and Geraldine Harris's A Good Night Out For the Girls offers timely and theoretically savvy explications of the feminist potential within a surprisingly eclectic array of traditionally mainstream performance genres...Their introduction is an account of the field of feminist performance scholarship, and a pointed assessment of the challenges inherent to this historic moment when concrete definitions of feminism are elusive; it is indispensable to any study of feminist theatre.' - Christine Woodworth, Broadside: A Newsletter of the Theatre Library Association

'From two of the most accomplished and inspiring critics in the field of theatre and performance studies comes this book about popular entertainment and performance for women... Arising from this book is a renewed sense of the feminist possibilities of performance to connect with the lived experience of an audience, and to repair the fragmentation of women's experience in the creation of enjoyment. The community of audience in the process of connection and response to the show on stage becomes an image of possible solidarity between women in the world outside the theatre. How this energy and joy operated in the wider social and political world is not within the authors' realm of analysis, but the theatre or performance space as a space of "impossible possibilities" is affirmed. The book itself reflects a sense of potential; it is stimulating, scholarly and highly enjoyable to read.' - Catherine Leeney, Journal of Contemporary Drama in English

'Although it contains discussion and analyses of a large variety of performances, the multifarious character of A Good Night Out for the Girls provides an extraordinary account of contemporary popular theatre and performance and it should become essential reading for those interested both in popular feminism and in having a great night out (or in) with the girls.' - Carmen Szabo, Theatre Research International