The Grotesque in Contemporary Anglophone Drama

  • Ondřej Pilný

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Ondřej Pilný
    Pages 29-55
  3. Ondřej Pilný
    Pages 57-80
  4. Ondřej Pilný
    Pages 81-102
  5. Ondřej Pilný
    Pages 103-129
  6. Ondřej Pilný
    Pages 131-161
  7. Ondřej Pilný
    Pages 163-169
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 171-178

About this book


Following on from the work of art historians and literary and cultural theorists, this book examines the ways in which varieties of the grotesque function in the plays of Philip Ridley, Mark O’Rowe, Enda Walsh, Suzan-Lori Parks and Tim Crouch.

The term ‘grotesque’ has been frequently applied in commentaries on some of the most exciting contemporary drama, without much further elucidation. By producing visions of an alienated world, engendering simultaneous attraction and repulsion, and often triggering laughter that comes with a chill in the spine, the grotesque attacks both aesthetic and social conventions and requires a creative use of the imagination on the part of the spectators. The book argues that as such, the grotesque in the works of the selected playwrights solicits profound audience engagement with urgent ethical, social and political issues. The inevitable openness caused by the grotesque demonstrates the authors’ faith in the deliberative powers of their audience, which stands in contrast to the ready-made choices offered by overtly committed political theatre.


English language theatre Wolfgang Kayser Mikhail Bakhtin Philip Ridley Mark O’Rowe Enda Walsh Suzan-Lori Parks Tim Crouch theatrical excess absurdism stage violence black humour verisimiltude audience emancipation Britain contemporary literature drama literary theory literature North America

Authors and affiliations

  • Ondřej Pilný
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Anglophone Lit & Cult, Fac of ArCharles University Prague 1Czech Republic

Bibliographic information