This book, first published in 1993, is the first full-length analysis of Samuel Beckett’s later drama in the context of contemporary critical and performance theory. It employs a close, textual examination of the later plays as a springboard for exploring ideas around authority, gender and the ideology of performance. Recent work in the world of critical theory has suggested new ways of looking at performance practice. McMullan argues that, while contemporary theory can deepen our understanding of Beckett’s dramatic practice, his drama places performance in the context of a metaphysical history and a metatheatrical tradition, thereby confronting and provoking some of the central debates in performance studies’ engagement with critical theory.
Table of Contents
1. Mimicking Mimesis 1.1. Play: Theatre on Trial 1.2. Catastrophe: The Body in Representation 1.3. What Where: Shades of Authority 2. Masquerades of Self 2.1. That Time: Between Frames 2.2. A Piece of Monologue: Beyond the Frame 3. This Sex Which Is Not One 3.1. Not I: Staging the Feminine – From Excess to Absence 3.2. Come and Go: A Pattern of Shades 4. Refiguring Authority 4.1. Footfalls: Dreadfully Un- 4.2. Rockaby: Those Arms At Last 4.3. Ohio Impromptu: Rites of Passage