Heroes with Their Hands in the Air: Memory and Commemoration in Contemporary Documentary Theater

Sheila McCormick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Documentary theatre has the capacity to confront and challenge its audience; however, there are occasions when examples from the genre avoid confrontation. These examples might not promote ideas consistent with the political status quo; neither, however, do they challenge it. This paper examines the ability of documentary theatre to move between two extremes: of challenging dominant power structures, or reinforcing the political or social status quo. It contrasts two documentary theatre performances that both took place on the fringes of mainstream theatre production, and which both explore the same social event: Bloody Sunday and the Saville Inquiry. In doing so, the article asks if Norton-Taylor’s Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry and Brady’s Heroes with Their Hands in the Air provide examples of documentary theatre as a forum for critical engagement or as a means to elicit unchallenging emotional responses from an audience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-515
JournalKritika Kultura
Volume21/22
Issue number21/22
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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