Resisting the Standard and Displaying her Colours: debbie tucker green at British Drama’s Vanguard

Osborne, Deirdre. 2015. Resisting the Standard and Displaying her Colours: debbie tucker green at British Drama’s Vanguard. In: Mary F. Brewer; Lynette Goddard and Deirdre Osborne, eds. Modern and Contemporary Black British Drama. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 161-177. ISBN 9780230303195 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Toril Moi identifies Julia Kristeva’s fundamental project as being, ‘the desire to produce a discourse which always confronts the impasse of language (as at once subject to and subversive of the rule of the Law), a discourse which in a final aporetic move dares to think language against itself’[…] (Moi 1986:10). debbie tucker green’s dramatic-poetics creates a linguistic arsenal, where words attack and counter-attack the bounds of syntax, while at the same time, if not paradoxically, are rendered lyrically to enable a threading together of meaning. Not only is her playtext a precise road-map of intra- and trans-linguistic directives, for the actor to enunciate (to the listener and audience member), it is as well, a set of grapholectic strategies which (for the reader), highlight her writing’s polyvalence as distinct from its physical dramatization. tucker green’s technique alerts us to the aporia in rendering experience in language, signifying ‘what it is that resists intelligibility and signification’ (Moi 1986:90). This chapter places tucker green’s work in the tradition of women’s experimental writing where her intricate plaiting of diasporic African and European-inflected inheritances charts a unique course beyond the confining theatrical and aesthetic parameters that black dramatists face in a white-hegemonic world. In analysing the plays dirty butterfly (2003), generations (2005), random (2008) and truth and reconciliation (2011), I claim that tucker green is the most stylistically innovative, and uncompromisingly poetic dramatist at work in contemporary British theatre, in her renovation of casting, acting, staging, and receptive expectations.

Item Type:

Book Section


dramatic-poetics, debbie tucker green, abjection, casting, dirty butterfly, generations

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


5 December 2014Published Online

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Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2019 10:14

Last Modified:

28 Jan 2020 15:55


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