'hang' by debbie tucker green

Osborne, Deirdre. 2017. 'hang' by debbie tucker green. In: , ed. The Literary Encyclopaedia. London: The Literary Dictionary Company Ltd. ISBN 1747-678X [Book Section]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

By consistently centralising black people’s heritages in her plays, debbie tucker green signals the historical legacies of race ideology stemming from the British Empire’s systems of enslavement and colonisation that continue to affect present-day culture. hang (2015) adds to her group of what I term, jurisdictional dramas (born bad, stoning mary, truth and reconciliation). These plays feature a clearly marked adversarial dynamic between one catalyst character in relation to others, in the pursuit of truth and justice in the wake of heinous acts. In a political climate in recent years when the (then) Prime Minister, David Cameron visited Jamaica offering financial aid to build a penitentiary over any kind of reparation for British enslavement, tucker green’s crafting of a black character seeking justice activates a complex consequentialist socio-economic history. These consequences are rarely acknowledged in public life nor tackled in terms of an apology by Britain for its imperial enterprise.
This article explores how the play alerts us to what contours black citizens' histories in a white dominant criminal justice system – one that evolved in the days of ruling the British Empire – where black people’s bodies served as sites for punishment ranging from plantocratic retributions, to the quashing of colonial insurrections.
hang offers a form of imaginative counter-history, as well as implicitly putting the audience (in the Royal Court Theatre where it premiered, overwhelmingly a white demographic) in the position of moral arbitration between right and wrong deeds.

Item Type:

Book Section


capital punishment, spectate,black dramatists, debbie tucker green

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


2 August 2017Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

15 Nov 2017 15:58

Last Modified:

01 Aug 2018 14:18



Edit Record Edit Record (login required)