Loss: Colder Than Here (2005) by Laura Wade

Premiered by the Soho Theatre London, Directed by Abigail Morris, Developed as Part of the Royal Court New Writer’s Programme 2003
  • Miriam Haughton
Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)


In contemporary English playwright Laura Wade’s subtly chilling play, the white English middle-class nuclear family is staged as ‘threshold people’. The Bradleys are bodies of time and space in flux and in crisis, provoked by a forthcoming traumatic encounter, death, which is knowable yet unknowable, a central paradigm of trauma. Their positions and customs are in transition, as are the laws, customs, conventions and ceremonials surrounding them while they inhabit this liminal ‘no one’s land’ between life and anticipated death in the near future. This relationship, between trauma, family and indeed the suggestion of impending ecological disaster, signals that the family in its current environment is inherently traumatic. Yet, by the play’s end there is also the suggestion of renewal, and indeed survival, though only by addressing the dysfunction that exists.


Print Sources

  1. Ahmed, Sara. 2004. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, Benedict. 1993. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Bennett, Susan. 2003. Theatre Audiences: A Theory of Production and Reception. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Duggan, Patrick. 2012. Trauma-Tragedy: Symptoms of Contemporary Performance. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Foucault, Michel. 1991. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Translated by Alan Sheridan. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  6. Jupp, Peter C., and Claire Gittings, eds. 1999. Death in England: An Illustrated History. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Luckhurst, Roger. 2008. The Trauma Question. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Nixon, Rob. 2006–2007. ‘Slow Violence, Gender and the Environmentalism of the Poor.’ Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, 13.2–14.1: 14–37.Google Scholar
  9. Turner, Victor. 2007. Liminality and Communitas. In The Performance Studies Reader, ed. Henry Bial, 2nd ed., 89–97. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Wade, Laura. 2012. Colder Than Here in Laura Wade Plays One. London: Oberon.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 2015. Unpublished Interview with Miriam Haughton. London, June 24.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriam Haughton
    • 1
  1. 1.National University of IrelandGalwayIreland

Personalised recommendations