Representational tactics: approaching two Scottish performances of mental illness through the work of Michel de Certeau
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This article uses the ideas of ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’ drawn from Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life in order to examine two specific Scottish performances and determine their conception of mental illness, their approach to performance, and how these performances relate to the structures surrounding them. The first, The Wonderful World of Dissocia, was written by Anthony Neilson, premièred at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2004, and was directly supported by the Scottish Executive’s National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Well Being. The second, Does Anyone Know, is a short film resulting from work with prisoners with mental health problems in the High Dependency Unit at HMP Edinburgh by the charity Theatre NEMO, and includes performances by prisoners themselves. Taken together, these performances give some sense of the contingent position of performances of mental illness, the ways in which actors, writers, and service users act within the structures of theatres, prisons, and hospitals, to work around and within the ‘strategies’ which constitute psychiatric discourse.
Dingwall-Jones, C. (2013). Representational tactics: approaching two Scottish performances of mental illness through the work of Michel de Certeau. Scottish Journal of Performance, 1(1), pp. 11-30.
Scottish Journal of Performance
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