By Geraldine Harris Elaine Aston
Relocating around the barriers of mainstream and experimental circuits, from the affective pleasures of commercially profitable indicates reminiscent of Calendar women and Mamma Mia! to the feminist probabilities of new burlesque and stand-up, this publication deals a lucid and available account of well known feminisms in modern theatre and function.
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Relocating around the barriers of mainstream and experimental circuits, from the affective pleasures of commercially profitable indicates akin to Calendar women and Mamma Mia! to the feminist probabilities of new burlesque and stand-up, this publication deals a lucid and obtainable account of renowned feminisms in modern theatre and function.
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Extra info for A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance
Equally, the other actresses (Faye, Hodge, Phillips) make unfavourable comparisons with how they used to look when younger. With the exception of Hills, all of the actresses have weight-watching anecdotes, and all share the view that caring less about weight over time is, as Phillips puts it, ‘liberating’ (all qtd. in Porter, 2008). Feeling the fear of bodily injury, the actresses tackle the transformation scene in the interests of empowering women with the liberating and reparative prospect of seeing themselves differently: Bellingham hopes that they ‘might make a small contribution to the self-esteem of real women everywhere’; Smith expresses her wish ‘that seeing me in all my glory as a I sit naked at the piano will help women in the audience to silence the critical voices they hear in their heads about their own bodies all the time’ (qtd in Porter, 2008).
By analogy, Firth’s observation about the WI broadly resonates with the gender and pleasure dynamics of the good-night-outfor-the-girls show: theatre ‘as an arena of [women’s] laughter and camaraderie’. As a cultural representation of the WI, the show, like the film and the real-life calendar girls phenomenon, others the jam and Jerusalem image of the WI. With the exception of their leader Marie, the WI-ers from Knapeley dis-identify with their well behaved, Calendar Girls 31 local rivals, the High Ghyll Institute, and while the play dramatises internecine tensions and frictions over the damage the calendar might do to the organisation’s reputation, the audience is empathetically aligned with the desire to modernise the WI’s image.
As second-wave feminism interrogated itself, the next generation of feminists felt compelled to declare their lack of identity with second-wave feminists. Second-wave feminism is remembered, and demonized, as personally censorious, hairy and politically correct, and has been the key other for younger women keen to celebrate the femininity and feminism of Buffy and Ally. (ibid) The feminist waves of disidentity are, Brunsdon argues, produced both by feminist scholarship on the popular and by representations of women in the popular that are centrally informed by the idea of ‘not being like that other woman’ (ibid: 45).
A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance by Geraldine Harris Elaine Aston