© 2018

Staging Trauma

Bodies in Shadow


  • Explores a range of performances in Ireland and the UK that engage with trauma and suffering

  • Focuses on figures who have previously been marginalised by dominant patriarchal theatrical and historical canons

  • Considers the staging of a range of traumatic episodes, including sexual violence, terminal illness, and asylum


Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Miriam Haughton
    Pages 81-116
  3. Miriam Haughton
    Pages 205-222
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 223-243

About this book


This book investigates contemporary British and Irish performances that stage traumatic narratives, histories, acts and encounters. It includes a range of case studies that consider the performative, cultural and political contexts for the staging and reception of sexual violence, terminal illness, environmental damage, institutionalisation and asylum. In particular, it focuses on 'bodies in shadow' in twenty-first century performance: those who are largely written out of or marginalised in dominant twentieth-century patriarchal canons of theatre and history. This volume speaks to students, scholars and artists working within contemporary theatre and performance, Irish and British studies, memory and trauma studies, feminisms, performance studies, affect and reception studies, as well as the medical humanities.


Trauma Suffering Psychological violence Contemporary theatre and performance Traumatic narratives Staging violence Sexual violence Twenty-first century performance Memory and trauma Bodies in shadow Feminism Medical humanities

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.National University of IrelandGalwayIreland

About the authors

Miriam Haughton is Lecturer at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. She has co-edited the collection Radical Contemporary Theatre Practices by Women in Ireland (2015) and published multiple essays in international journals, including Contemporary Theatre Review, Modern Drama, and Irish Studies Review.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Staging Trauma
  • Book Subtitle Bodies in Shadow
  • Authors Miriam Haughton
  • Series Title Contemporary Performance InterActions
  • Series Abbreviated Title Contemporary Performance InterActions
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-53662-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-71078-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-53663-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 243
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Staging Trauma proves itself to be a particularly useful and important introduction for students and scholars seeking to immerse themselves in this interdisciplinary field of enquiry. … this monograph is a vital contribution to the fields of trauma studies and theatre and performance studies.” (Milija Gluhovic, Modern Drama, Vol. 62 (4), 2019)

“Staging Trauma is an exceptionally interdisciplinary, multifaceted, and reflective work of scholarship that examines the significance of the theatrical performance of trauma in individual and societal terms. It is recommended for students and scholars of many different interests including critical studies of theater and performance, trauma studies, and feminist theory. … Finally, it is undoubtedly relevant for theater professionals … .” (Eve Polley, The Harold Pinter Review, Vol. 3 (1), 2019)

“Staging Trauma is a work of great scholarly, personal and political care. Haughton’s own commitment to social justice resonates throughout and serves to produce a volume that is both compelling and finely detailed, and that makes an excellent contribution to the fields of theatre studies and trauma studies.” (Emma Willis, Irish University Review, Vol. 49 (1), May, 2019)

“Haughton’s timely and significant book is positioned at the intersection of trauma studies with contemporary theatre and performance, and sets out to investigate theatrical interventions into the suppressed histories of forgotten populations. Written in a clear and readable style, it is suitable for final-year undergraduates onwards. It offers four detailed case studies, each addressing a different key concern: sexual violence, terminal illness, imprisonment, and asylum.” (lisa Fitzpatrick, New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 34 (04), November, 2018)