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The Cheviot and its legacies: dramaturgies of the Left in Scottish theatre

Reid, T. (2024) The Cheviot and its legacies: dramaturgies of the Left in Scottish theatre. In: Jestrovic, S. and Dutt, B. (eds.) Theatre, Activism, Subjectivity: Searching for the Left in a Fragmented World. Manchester University Press, Manchester. (In Press)

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This chapter explores the legacies of John McGrath and 7:84 Scotland’s seminal production The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil (1973) both by considering its original contexts and reception, and also through the lens of a major revival of the play at Dundee Rep in 2015. In particular, it details the ways in which responses to the revival were shaped by of the combined effects of neoliberalism and an insurgent Scottish Nationalism. It concludes that contemporary concerns over Scotland’s national destiny were effectively mapped onto McGrath’s play by critics via a fusion of radical and nationalist agendas, and that this fusion diluted its ideological rigour. The criteria against which The Cheviot’s relevance was being judged had shifted substantially in the almost half-century since the original 7:84 Scotland production and McGrath’s explicitly internationalist reading of Scottish history became obscured.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:114236
Publisher:Manchester University Press

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