Get A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in PDF

By Geraldine Harris Elaine Aston

ISBN-10: 1137300140

ISBN-13: 9781137300140

ISBN-10: 1349327999

ISBN-13: 9781349327997

Relocating around the obstacles of mainstream and experimental circuits, from the affective pleasures of commercially profitable exhibits corresponding to Calendar women and Mamma Mia! to the feminist chances of new burlesque and stand-up, this booklet bargains a lucid and available account of well known feminisms in modern theatre and function.

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Additional resources for A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance

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Calendar Girls 29 By this, Brunsdon means the way in which women other the feminist generation that came before them: For if second-wave feminists were not like the housewives and sex objects they saw in the media, they were in turn othered by the post-colonial critique of the 1980s. As second-wave feminism interrogated itself, the next generation of feminists felt compelled to declare their lack of identity with second-wave feminists. Second-wave feminism is remembered, and demonized, as personally censorious, hairy and politically correct, and has been the key other for younger women keen to celebrate the femininity and feminism of Buffy and Ally.

The scene excites in the same way that a high-wire circus or dangerous knifejuggling act does, where the danger and thrill is in seeing how and whether the actresses pull this off. As actress Siân Philips (Jessie, in the original Chichester cast) commented: ‘You don’t need a good body to be in this play, but you do need to be a whiz with props, given that we are responsible for preserving our own modesty. If we get nervous and drop something, well, we’ve had it’ (qtd. in Porter, 2008). Back in 1981, Nell Dunn’s women’s liberation comedy, Steaming, set in an all-women Turkish baths, caused a sensation with its staging of female nudity in a final scene in which a cast of older women of various shapes and sizes plunged naked into a pool of water to signify woman-as-liberated.

In other words, they are recycled and, therefore, reassuring’ (ibid: 62; original emphasis). Although cognisant of the hierarchical divide between the ‘profitable’ and the ‘pleasurable’, our critical interest resides, as Eve Sedgwick would have or put it, in ‘loosening up’ this dualism with a view to thinking otherwise: to revising a view of the popular (women’s) show as merely a disposable form of strictly unprofitable (in the social sense) culture. So, for instance, in respect to Calendar Girls, the line of feminist enquiry pursued here contrasts with that of the theatre critics who variously trashed the show on account of its popular credentials, wrote anxiously of its astonishing commercial success, and dismissively of its emotional (rather than intellectual) appeal to women’s audiences of a ‘certain age’.

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A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance by Geraldine Harris Elaine Aston

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