ABSTRACT

It would be fair to say that not all the works with which I have engaged leap off the page as high-octane dramas depicting sensational events. An awkward boy and alienated girl become used to watching each other. We watch the technical set-up for a piece of theatre we never see. A nuclear family sit in yet another living-room, talking but not making much sense in a domestic scene that seems to lead nowhere. A man who has settled down with a wife and child we never meet receives a visit from an old friend and they find they have drifted apart. Snippets of dialogue are presented in which diverse characters we barely get to know look for answers to all kinds of things. As I wrote the book, I became increasingly struck by the juxtaposition of these scenes of slow violence with corporate fraud on an epic scale, the serial murder of sex workers, a videogame in which suburban teens kill their parents for real. While this juxtaposition was planned in the conception of the book, it proved crucial to my articulation of how theatre-makers resist forensic aesthetics. I became increasingly aware of how closely related this tension between the presentation of highly charged, dramatic events and of meditations on the mundane is to another running through the works: between world-making, speculative play and fatalistic anxiety.