Martin Crimp Drama

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In the context of the post dramatic, how does Martin Crimps play text ‘Attempts on her life’ extend/challenge theatrical conventions of character, or location or time?

In attempts on her life, I believe Martin Crimp uses various actors that each in turn attempt to represent Anne; naturally this suggests to me that with the use of many actors, Anne will be a powerful figure whether she be dominant or absent throughout. In the 17 scenarios of the play, the text that I consider to be post dramatic generally creates ‘Anne’, who throughout remains a dubious third person, I believe Anne to be a third person as there is no single annotation of her character. This immediately challenges the theatrical conventions of character in consequence to the suggestion that Anne is not a delineate character, particularly since we are offered very little insight into her personality throughout the entire play. ‘The most striking formal feature of Crimp’s play is that it refuses to attribute character name to the spoken text’ (Barnett, 2008)

In relation to Martin Crimp challenging the theatrical conventions of character, this is hinted in the idea that the main focal point throughout this play is the use of language that Crimp uses to portray human beings and social relations. ‘Anne is only constituted by language, yet this recognition then bleeds into our understanding of all other speakers’ (Barnett, 2008). The actors in this play create a deception surrounding Anne’s identity; this approach by Martin Crimp allows us to understand the various possibilities contained in telling the story of Anne. Using language such as ‘Annie’, ‘Anya’, ‘Anushka’, allows us to embody Anne and is a constant reminder of her existence. Just because we do not physical...

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...that bombard us in our cosmopolitan, mediated culture today’ (The Psychophysical Actor at work, pg. 200). Throughout attempts on her life, Martin crimp explores representation by using an absent figure who always appears, but never appears. In the context of post dramatic, I believe at times the text has abrupt reference to terrorism. Its post dramatic structure comes in response to the fact that the issues of representations that are raised in terms of Anne being absent, is the same role that mediated images play in constructing our world today. It appears that Martin Crimp uses post dramatic theatre in this way to highlight the social and political issues of the world above and beyond theatre. Particular references relating ‘Anne’ to terrorism are evident when she is described as ‘A terrorist on the run’, or ‘An artist who has turned her suicide attempts into art’

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