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Teenage dreams : power and imagination in David Greig's Yellow Moon and The Monster in the Hall

Reid, T. (2016) Teenage dreams : power and imagination in David Greig's Yellow Moon and The Monster in the Hall. Contemporary Theatre Review, 26 (1). pp. 60-70. ISSN 1477-2264

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/10486801.2015.1123701


In many contemporary theatre productions for teenage audiences, a power struggle is apparent between young people, who are typically the focus of narrative attention, and the adult world, which they are in the process of entering. This article focuses on two of David Greig’s most successful works for young people, Yellow Moon (2006) and The Monster in the Hall (2010). In particular it explores the concept of aetonormativity as coined by the children’s literature critic Maria Nikolajeva in 2010. Nikolajeva’s theoretical intervention builds on power-oriented critiques of children’s literature, which have been in the ascendancy in the last couple of decades, and is intended to demonstrate that adult normativity controls the way children’s literature is patterned. Consequently, it provides a useful starting point for an exploration of the power dynamics that underwrite the material practices of theatre for young audiences (TYA). Acknowledging the usefulness of this concept, I nevertheless suggest that in Yellow Moon and The Monster in the Hall, Greig effects a partial redistribution of power between the adult and the audience in the TYA exchange. Greig’s subtlety in the use and handling of the concept of power, here as elsewhere, resists over-simplification.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:102286


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