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Title: Beyond ‘Geordierama’: Theatre and Performance in North East England, 2017-18
Authors: Latimer, Andrew John
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis presents an assessment of the theatrical culture of North East England through an examination of four theatre productions made in the region between 2017-18: Beyond the End of the Road (2017) produced by November Club; The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes (2017, Live Theatre); Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (2018, Darlington Operatic Society); and HEATON! (2018, the People’s Theatre in association with Shoe Tree Arts). Each performance analysis is supplemented by interviews with members of the companies and creative teams involved in their making, and centres on a keyword used by the companies to describe their work. These keywords – authentic (Beyond), contemporary (Snowflakes), lavish (Priscilla), and official (HEATON!) – enable ways of thinking differently about the North East and reveal a complex and diverse regional eco-system of art practices and modes of theatre industry. These case studies are framed by consideration of the theatrical, cinematic, and popular representation of the North East between 1964-2018 and the limitations of previous scholarly engagement with the region’s theatre culture, challenging external perceptions of the region as culturally barren or theatrically unremarkable. They engage with discourses of authenticity in relation to rural place-making, site-specificity, and Northumbrian heritage; the North East’s vexed relationship to the metropolitan centre in relation to its claim to the contemporary; the politics of pleasure in the production of lavish theatre; and the ethical and historiographical tensions in staging official history. They also provide insights into methodological dilemmas which emerge from carrying out research in a region which is fraught with anxieties regarding its own agency and (mis)representation, highlighting the importance of attending to self-description in the discussion of artistic works. In doing so, this thesis also provides a corrective to the North East’s omission from the national theatre record, shedding light on a heterogenous and multi-layered theatre culture.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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