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Alternative theatre and the state.

Pattie, David (1990) Alternative theatre and the state. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94576) (KAR id:94576)

Language: English

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This thesis examines the interaction between the state and the alternative theatre movement in the 1980s. The first chapter deals with Thatcherism, the most active political force in the 1980s. It set out to convert Britain to a system based on the free market and on Victorian values: The chapter analyses its ideological roots, and evaluates its success. The second chapter deals with the efffect of Thatcherite philosophy on the Arts Council (Britain's largest arts funding body). The chapter discusses the structure and practice of the Arts Council, and guages the effect of economic and political pressures on those structures in the 1980s. The third chapter discusses the work of the Labour-controlled Greater London Council between 1981 and its abolition in 1986. The Council operated policies designed to involve the ordinary Londoner. The chapter places the G.L.C. in Labour Party history; assesses the impact of its approach on the Council's arts funding policy; and asseses the successes and failures of this policy. The fourth chapter deals with the alternative theatre movement.

It discusses the movement's growth during the 1970's, and its developing relationship to the state. The chapter then analyses the effect of economic, political and social pressures on the field in the 1980s.The fifth chapter deals with Scottish theatre. It does so for two reasons; firstly because the state framework, the cultural development, and the political landscape of Scotland differ from the rest of the country; and secondly, because of this difference, the impact of the alternative theatre movement on Scotland has been substantially different to that in England. The thesis concludes that, though the political atmosphere in the 1980s has been generally hostile, alternative theatre survives, because the field itself has changed, and because it has found support in some sections of the state.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94576
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Arts; Alternative Theatre
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
N Visual Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1600 Drama
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2022 14:44 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2022 14:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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