Film, Drama and the Break Up of Britain (Book)


When the sun set on the British Empire, the resultant fragmentation of British identity emerged most tellingly in artistic works: cinematic works such as Howards End depicted a richly historical land steeped in tradition and tragedy, while the more modern Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels revealed a brutal yet sharply humorous portrayal of contemporary English life. That relationship between nationalism, national identity, and postcolonialism remains central to many British dramatists’ works, and in Film, Drama and the Breakup of Britain, Steve Blandford explores how the “breakup” of Britain has influenced contemporary British drama. Breaking down the scholarly barriers between theater and film studies, Blandford examines British directors’ interpretations of their nation’s postcolonial age, tracing the various ways that auteurs have created dramatic narratives that explore the idea of being “British” and all its inherent complexity. From community-based theaters in Scotland and Wales to the blockbuster The Full Monty, Blandford probes the cultural impact of Britain’s struggle to form a new identity, making his book an essential read for all those interested in postcolonial studies and the history of British film.

Steve Blandford is professor of theatre and media and associate dean of the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Glamorgan.

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