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The open constructed public sphere: Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women in a version by David Greig

Rodriguez, V. (2020) The open constructed public sphere: Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women in a version by David Greig. Humanities, 9 (1). 21. ISSN 2076-0787

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/h9010021


This article looks at the ‘public’ ‘place’ of drama in Britain at present by offering an analysis of a contemporary version of an ancient Greek play by Aeschylus, entitled The Suppliant Women, written by David Greig, directed by Ramin Gray, and first performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh in 2016. Following an agonistic (Chantal Mouffe), rather than a consensual (Jürgen Habermas) model of the public sphere, it argues that under globalisation, three cumulative and interwoven senses of the public sphere, the discursive, the spatial, and the individual and his/her/their relation to a larger form of organisation, despite persisting hegemonic structures that perpetuate their containment, have become undone. This is the kind of unbounded model of public sphere Greig’s version of Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women seems to suggest by precisely offering undoings of discourses, spaces, and individualisations. In order to frame the first kind of undoing, that is, the unmarking of theatre as contained, the article uses Christopher Balme’s notion of ‘open theatrical public sphere’, and in order to frame the second, that is, the undoing of elements ‘in’ Greig’s version, the article utilises Greig’s concept of ‘constructed space’. The article arrives then at the notion of the open constructed public sphere in relation to The Suppliant Women. By engaging with this porous model of the public sphere, The Suppliant Women enacts a protest against exclusionary, reductive models of exchange and organisation, political engagement, and belonging under globalisation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:89148
Uncontrolled Keywords:The Suppliant Women, Aeschylus, David Greig, public sphere, political theatre


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