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Punk rock as popular theatre

Double, Oliver (2007) Punk rock as popular theatre. New Theatre Quarterly, 23 (1). pp. 35-48. ISSN 0266-464X. (doi:doi: 10.1017/S0266464X06000613) (KAR id:1182)


Punk rock performance consciously draws on popular theatre forms like music hall and

stand-up comedy, as exemplified by the occasion when Max Wall appeared with Ian Dury

at the Hammersmith Odeon. Oliver Double traces the historical and stylistic connections

between punk, music hall and stand-up, and argues that punk shows can be considered a

form of popular theatre in their own right. He examines a wide range of punk bands and

performers- including Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Devo, Spizz, The Ramones, The Clash, and

Dead Kennedys- and considers how they use costume, staging, persona,

characterisation, and audience-performer relationships, arguing that these are as

important and carefully considered as the music they play. Art movements like Dada and

Futurism were important influences on the early punk scene, and Double shows how, as

with early 20th Century cabaret, punk performance manages to include avant garde

elements within popular theatre forms. Oliver Double started his career performing a

comedy act alongside anarchist punk bands in Exeter, going on to spend ten years on the

alternative comedy circuit. Currently, he lectures in Drama at the University of Kent, and

he is the author of Stand-Up! On Being a Comedian (Methuen, 1997) and Getting the

Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy (Methuen, 2005).

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: doi: 10.1017/S0266464X06000613
Subjects: N Visual Arts > N Visual arts (General). For photography, see TR
N Visual Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The theatre
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Oliver Double
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:47 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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