328 pages | 2 B/W Illus.
The Dark Theatre takes stock of a quarter-century’s turn towards financialization and precarity in Western Europe – from its theatrical institutions all the way up to the fabric of its societies.
Written as a critical response to his first book, 1993’s Theatre and Everyday Life, Alan Read formulates a concept of ‘cultural cruelty’ to assess the capitalised conditions of everything from theatre to legal practice. Read uses as his central case study the sudden closure of Rotherhithe Theatre Workshop in London’s Docklands in 1991. He explores the ways in which this closure came to characterize the subsequent quarter century of neo-liberalism, competitive subjectification and the financialization of everyday life that is now widely accepted now as the status quo in the arts and beyond.
The Dark Theatre is an indispensable text for students and scholars across Theatre and Performance Studies, Urban Studies, Cultural Studies and all disciplines concerned with the state of culture, society and the arts in the Twenty First Century.
Part I: The Loss Adjustor: Collateral Damage in the Capitalocene; Chapter 1: The Dark Theatre: Bankruptcy & the Logics of Expulsion; Chapter 2: The Eruption of the Audience & the Dictatorship of the Performatariat; Chapter 3: All the Home’s a Stage: Social Reproduction & Everyday Life; Interlude: Dreadful Trade: The Vertigo of Attractions; Part II: Living Currency: Scenes from the Last Human Venue; Chapter 4: Irreparable State: Compensations of Performance; Chapter 5: Arrested Life: Ecology of the New Enclosures; Chapter 6: Cultural Cruelty: Extraordinary Rendition & Acoustic Shock; Chapter 7: Poor History: Field Notes from a Fire Sale; Outstanding Debts; The Milliner’s Shop; Bibliography; Index