Aleks Sierz

Aleks Sierz
Boston University Study Abroad · London Programmes

MA Arts Criticism and PhD in Contemporary Theatre

About

93
Publications
43,429
Reads
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180
Citations
Introduction
Aleks Sierz currently works for Boston University London programmes. He does research in Theatre, Postwar British Drama, English Literature and Literary Theory. His current project is Contemporary British Theatre and British Theatre History.

Publications

Publications (93)
Article
This article examines the recent explosion of British dystopian plays, analysing their changing characteristics from the 1990 s to the 2010 s. After an initial brief look at precursors, it then focuses on examples of new writing which tackle the idea of dystopia in the absurdist manner typical of the 2000 s. In a third step, the focus is on the dys...
Chapter
Playwright Martin Crimp is the most innovative and original British theatre writer to have emerged in the past 35 years. In every play, he has experimented in matching innovative new forms to his content, which is invariably critical of social norms and of consumer capitalism. His 1997 masterpiece, Attempts on Her Life, is a distinctive open text,...
Article
Ambition in adaptation sometimes pays off. The following is an edited transcript of a public interview conducted by journalist Aleks Sierz with two British playwrights, Dennis Kelly (born 1910) and Alexandra Wood (born 1982) at the ICA in London on 4 May 2012. Kelly has adapted Roald Dahl’s popular 1988 children’s novel, Matilda, into the musical M...
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Backpages is an opportunity for the academy to engage with theatre and performance practice with immediacy and insight and for theatre workers and performance artists to engage critically and reflectively on their work and the work of their peers. Featuring short, topical articles and debates, polemics where necessary, it's a place of intellectual...
Article
WyllieAndrewSex on Stage: Gender and Sexuality in Post-War British TheatreBristol: Intellect, 2009. 153 p. £14.95. ISBN 978-1-84150-203-8. - Volume 25 Issue 3 - Aleks Sierz
Article
This chapter has eight sections: 1 . General; 2 . Pre-1945 Fiction; 3 . Post-1945 Fiction; 4 . Pre-1950 Drama; 5 . Post-1950 Drama; 6 . Pre-1950 Poetry; 7 . Post-1950 Poetry; 8 . Irish Poetry. Sections 1 and 7 are by John Brannigan; section 2(a) is by Andrew Radford; section 2(b) is by Chris Hopkins; section 2(c) is by Anne Fogarty; section 2(d) is...
Article
The distinguished film director David Lean once said, "Reality is a bore." He was talking about the fashion in 1960s cinema for social realism, for kitchen-sink drama, for angry young men. You can see his point. Ever since the advent of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger—whose fiftieth anniversary in 2006 was celebrated in a rather listless fashion...
Article
This article shows how Crimp, in his 2005 trilogy of short playlets, both constructs meaning and explores the difficulties of constructing meaning. The article analyses the form and content of Fewer Emergencies in two contexts: what Hans-Thies Lehmann calls ''postdramatic'' theatre and what Frank Furedi calls the ''culture of fear.'' Crucially, bot...
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Staging the UK. By Jen Harvey. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005. Pp. ix + 246 + illus. £15.99 Pb; £50 Hb - - Volume 31 Issue 2 - Aleks Sierz
Article
This chapter has seven sections: 1. General; 2. Pre-1945 Fiction; 3. Post-1945 Fiction; 4. Pre-1950 Drama; 5. Post-1950 Drama; 6. Post-1950 Poetry; 7. Irish Poetry. Section 1 is by Julian Cowley; section 2(a) is by Andrew Radford; section 2(b) is by Chris Hopkins; section 2(c) is by Anne Fogarty; section 2(d) is by Bethan Jones; section 2(e) is by...
Article
PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 27.3 (2005) 55-61 It's January 2005, ten years since Sarah Kane's Blasted opened at the tiny Theatre Upstairs studio at the Royal Court. Although this was not the first play of the 1990s to have a raw in-yer-face sensibility, it quickly became the most notorious. Kane was soon patronizingly characterized as the...
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Full-text available
This chapter has seven sections: 1. General; 2. Pre-1945 Fiction; 3. Post-1945 Fiction; 4. Pre-1950 Drama; 5. Post-1950 Drama; 6. Pre-1950 Poetry; 7. Post-1950 Poetry. Section 1( a ) is by Julian Cowley; section 1( b ) is by Colin Graham; section 2( a ) is by Chris Hopkins; section 2( b ) is by Anne Fogarty; section 2( c ) is by Bethan Jones; secti...
Article
Report on the conference arranged by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Birmingham University, held at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on 16 October 2004.
Article
Richard BoonAbout Hare: the Playwright and his Work London: Faber, 2003. 241 p. £8.99. ISBN: 0-571-21429-0. - - Volume 20 Issue 2 - ALEKS SIERZ
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Full-text available
Since his account of the Birmingham Theatre Conference in NTQ51, Aleks Sierz has taken the temperature of British playwriting in articles about ‘Cool Britannia’ (NTQ56) – from which developed his influential book, In Yer Face Theatre: British Drama Today (Faber, 2001) – ‘Still In-Yer-Face? Towards a Critique and a Summation’ (NTQ69), and a report o...
Article
This chapter has seven sections: 1. General; 2. Pre-1945 Fiction; 3. Post-1945 Fiction; 4. Post-1950 Drama; 5. Pre-1950 Poetry; 6. Post-1950 Poetry; 7. Irish Poetry. Section 1(a) is by Julian Cowley; section 1(b) is by Colin Graham; section 2(a) is by Lynne Hapgood; section 2(b) is by Chris Hopkins; section 2(c) is by Daniel Lea; section 2(d) is by...
Article
James InverneThe Impresarios London: Oberon, 2000. 232 p. £16.99. ISBN: 1-84002-135-7. - - Volume 19 Issue 4 - ALEKS SIERZ
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Report on the conference at the University of the West of England, Bristol, 6–7 September 2002.
Article
Beckett: Waiting for Godot by David Bradby, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 247 p. £14.95. ISBN 0-521-59510-X. - - Volume 19 Issue 1 - Aleks Sierz
Article
The 2001 Beckett on Film project — the filming of al nineteen of Samuel Beckett's plays by Channel 4, RTÉ and the Irish Film Board — was a unique event, and raises questions about the aesthetics of adapting work from stage to film, the role of the director and the power of the literary estate. Using unpublished interviews with key contributors to t...
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‘Love Me or Kill Me’: Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes by Graham Saunders, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002. 198 p. £14.00. ISBN: 0-7190-5956-9. - - Volume 18 Issue 4 - Aleks Sierz
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The Drama Handbook: A Guide to Reading Plays. By John Lennard and Mary Luckhurst. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Pp. 401. £12.99 Pb. - - Volume 27 Issue 3 - Aleks Sierz
Article
The dramatic upsurge of contemporary new writing on British stages in the past decade, and the emergence of a fresh generation of playwrights led by such talents as Mark Ravenhill, Philip Ridley, Joe Penhall, Phyllis Nagy, Patrick Marber, and the late Sarah Kane, has been variously characterized as the ‘New Brutalism’ or even, in Germany, as the ‘B...
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Full-text available
British theatre has in recent years moved from being one of the most highly censored art forms to one of the least censored. Yet, since the abolition of censorship in 1968, the freedom of the stage means that, although the theatre is free to explore all aspects of human behaviour, the nature of its audiences suggests that this freedom is allowed be...
Article
PlimptonGeorgeThe Playwrights at Work: the ‘Paris Review’ InterviewsHarvill, 2000. 411 p. £12.00. ISBN: 1-86046-783-0. - Volume 17 Issue 4 - Aleks Sierz
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EdgarDavid, ed. State of Play: Playwrights on PlaywritingFaber and Faber, 1999. £9.99. ISBN 0-571-20096-6. - Volume 16 Issue 4 - Aleks Sierz
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DemastesWilliam W.Theatre of Chaos: Beyond Absurdism, into Orderly ChaosCambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 184 p. £35.00. ISBN 0-521-58245-8. - Volume 15 Issue 4 - Aleks Sierz
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DeeneyJohn, ed. Writing Live: an Investigation of the Relationship Between Writing and Live ArtLondon: New Playwrights Trust, 1998. £10. ISBN 0-953-34910-1. - Volume 15 Issue 3 - Aleks Sierz
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HollandPeterEnglish Shakespeares: Shakespeare on the English Stage in the 1990sCambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. 278 p. £13.95 ISBN 0-521-56476-X. - Volume 15 Issue 2 - Aleks Sierz
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The appearance of a succession of controversial and attention-catching new plays on the British stage in the 'nineties has led to considerable public discussion – and not a little ostensible outrage. In ‘an interim report’, Aleks Sierz examines the rash of plays about sex, drugs, and violence – notably Trainspotting, Blasted, Mojo, and Shopping and...
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John Osborne's Look Back in Anger is one of a handful of plays which have attained iconic status, becoming a symbolic work which means much more than the message of the play. Aleks Sierz examines Look Back in Anger not as a literary text or performance event but as a myth factory. After showing how the anger at the centre of the play depends on non...
Chapter
‘But don’t you remember the word games we all used to play?’ asks Maria in Harold Pinter’s Moonlight.1 At such moments, the author is reminded by one of his creations of the infinite intertextual nexus in which his play is located, while, at another level, he is also sending out a cue to the audience, an invitation for them to call to mind the imag...

Projects