Based on a true story: poetic faction in the interstices between documents and intergenerational memory. A critical appraisal of Justin McGregor's anti-war trilogy: a slow dance with death

MacGregor, Justin Hector (2016) Based on a true story: poetic faction in the interstices between documents and intergenerational memory. A critical appraisal of Justin McGregor's anti-war trilogy: a slow dance with death. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

This dissertation comprises a trilogy of original anti-war plays and an analysis of their contribution to the on-going development of a new dimension of the branch of playwriting known as “documentary theatre.” It seeks to clarify precisely what constitutes this form of theatre and explores how current practitioners have tested and extended its boundaries. It is my contention that my own practice has been part of this process of reinvigorating the tradition of documentary theatre, allowing what I have called “poetic faction” to fill in the historical gaps often left out by more orthodox exponents of this brand of theatre. The commentary will attempt to illuminate the telling of these stories by drawing on the insights of documentary theatre, which itself draws attention to the limitations and nature of historiography, as well as to the use of memory and postmemory as documents. In addition, while all of the plays were intended to be part of the tradition of British documentary theatre, the use of elements in-between verifiable verbatim and documentary evidence – which for our purposes will be called and defined as “poetic faction” – problematized its relationship to the very tradition it was defining itself as being a part of and raised ethical questions as well. This commentary will seek to position the plays and the practice around them within the wider context of documentary, tribunal and verbatim theatre, as well as the theatre of the real, as these various branches of contemporary drama have been labeled in the United Kingdom. It will also seek to probe the boundaries of documentary theatre, attempting to justify its inclusion of more poetic elements.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: An electronic version of the thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Divisions: University of Bolton Theses > Arts and Media Technologies
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2017 10:26
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2017 10:26
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/1067

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