By Geraldine Harris Elaine Aston
Relocating around the limitations of mainstream and experimental circuits, from the affective pleasures of commercially profitable indicates akin to Calendar women and Mamma Mia! to the feminist chances of new burlesque and stand-up, this publication bargains a lucid and obtainable account of renowned 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
For example, as Sally Munt indicates, since the Industrial Revolution in England the term ‘northern’ has been a pseudonym for working-class poor and a host of associated meanings’ (2007: 133). This is evinced in A Good Night Out, where John McGrath’s descriptions of ‘working-class popular entertainment’ are taken from the north of England (1981: 22). McGrath also constantly stresses the ‘localism’ of class and when exemplifying what he describes as a ‘certain internationality and interchangeably of bourgeois theatre’ his points of reference are theatre productions in London (ibid: 58).
For instance, it is not a virtue that is capable of treating the sentimentalist with sympathy, empathy, compassion, respect, or affection. (ibid) In pausing to unpack Knight’s attentions to sentimentality, I am concerned with accounting for the negative values that routinely attach to the sentimental women’s show and to its audiences. For even within feminist treatments of sentimentally conceived women’s genres there is often a critical suspicion that these detract and detach from the idea that these might yield politicising possibilities.
To be a company of women performing for women characterised much of this feminist work. Committed to making ideological and political connections to feminism explicit in their shows, such groups were no less committed to the idea of ‘“a good night out” that was “by, for and about women”’, as enshrined in the company policy of the Women’s Theatre Group, the most enduring of the feminist collectives (Aston, 2008: 116). 7 However, the show itself, with its dramatic representation of a community coming to consciousness about their experiences as women, resonates with a proto-feminist culture: a coming-to-consciousness of feminine discontents that 28 A Good Night Out for the Girls are collectively shared and addressed in and through a supportive women’s space.