“The Last Rolo”: Love, Conflict and War in Anthony Neilson’s Penetrator

Newberry, Rachael. 2020. “The Last Rolo”: Love, Conflict and War in Anthony Neilson’s Penetrator. In: William Boles, ed. After In-Yer-Face Theatre. Remnants of a Theatrical Revolution. USA: Palgrave Macmillian, pp. 57-70. ISBN 978-3-030-39426-4 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

In this chapter Newberry challenges the often brutal, physically violent world of the In-Yer-Face genre that dominated theatre of the 1990s in her close analysis of Anthony Neilson’s 1993 play, Penetrator. While the play is ostensibly a provocative, vicious account of misogyny and male violence, Newberry reads characterization through the lens of Eve Sedgewick’s understanding of the homosocial bond and the cementing of ties made in childhood. Exploring the significance of popular cultural icons; Baudrillard’s well documented work on the simulacra in relation to war; and an account of audience reception and what the play might have to say to modern day audiences, Newberry explores alternative themes of love, tenderness, and male/male desire and the ways in which these have traditionally been misread through the discourse of toxic masculinity.

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Book Section

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


1 May 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

11 May 2020 14:36

Last Modified:

01 May 2022 01:26



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