From History to ‘Ourstories’ in Martin Crimp’s Meta-narratives

Vicky Angelaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In contemporary British theatre formal and textual experimentation has often found a creative partner in historical and political concerns. This article considers recent (post-2010) work by Martin Crimp and specifically his collaboration with George Benjamin on the opera piece Written on Skin (2012) and with Katie Mitchell on Alles Weitere kennen Sie aus dem Kino (2013), while locating these texts within the broader narrative of Crimp’s work. As this article argues, in such work by Crimp historical transformation has been key in terms of establishing the diachronic relevance of texts that have survived through time and fleshing out their contemporary significance. The article particularly discusses the meta-narrativity embedded in pieces such as Written on Skin and Alles Weitere kennen Sie aus dem Kino, the socially astute allegorical function of such work, but also the central role that female characters hold within the embodied process of storytelling represented in these texts. As the article concludes, the understanding of History as ‘ourstories’ is contingent on emphasis being placed on the personal as political, which, however, comes to be constituted through a radical deviation from stage realism that transcends the notions of past and present to provide representation that thrives on the spectatorial exposure to an experiential continuum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-155
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Contemporary Drama in English
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


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