Theatre and the political in Blair's 'Golden Age'

Rebecca Daker

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The goal of this thesis is to make an intervention in the debates surrounding the political significance of British theatre, and specifically playwriting, during the New Labour government. In an environment of austerity under the Coalition government, journalistic commentary has tended towards a nostalgic conception of the Blair era as a 'Golden Age' of the arts marked by abundant funding and artistic freedom for practitioners. I examine the flaws of such claims, asking whether the importance placed on social and economic value during this time may in fact have had a detrimental effect on the political efficacy of the form, and how the discursive closures created by the rhetoric of Third Way democracy can best be disrupted in order to make a reimagining of political theatre possible.
My central question is as follows:
What effect did New Labour, and particularly the influence of Third Way social democracy, have on the relationship between plays and the political?
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Rebellato, Dan, Supervisor
  • Megson, Chris, Supervisor
Award date1 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2017


  • political theatre
  • New Labour
  • Arts Council England

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