Competing Histories

  • Anthony P. PenninoEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


This chapter follows two narratives: that of the Thatcher Government and that of the theatrical companies. With regard to the former, it examines the development of Thatcherism as a political ideology, the promulgation of heritage culture projects, and reductions to arts funding. With regard to the latter, the chapter provides background to the decade leading up to the 1979 election, the challenges the playhouses faced before and after that election, the obstacles they had in providing socially accessible spaces to all communities, and the evolution of the oppositional history play. Employing James Baldwin’s concept of activist witnessing, it also articulates that the British theatre did offer an intellectually coherent argument, necessary to the reevaluation of theatre history of this period.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stevens Institute of TechnologyHobokenUSA

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