Taking Sides: Palestinian Advocacy and Metropolitan Theatre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The political and documentary turn in Anglophone metropolitan theatre in the new millennium has generated a number of plays that address the question of Palestine. Israel/Palestine presents itself as a site in which fundamental social change is still possible, making it an especially productive setting for political theatre. This article focuses on two of the most high-profile plays of the last ten years: Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner’s My Name is Rachel Corrie (2005) and Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza (2009). It examines not only the controversies that each of these plays engendered, but also the ways in which they negotiate the tensions that are inherent in the very notion of advocacy in theatre, which connotes two distinct forms of address: on the one hand, the effort to generate empathy and humanitarian feeling without specifying a political commitment; on the other, the attempt to persuade a viewer to affiliate with a particular struggle or set of beliefs, and to commit herself or himself to action. The article thus seeks to bring together three areas of enquiry that have been marginalized in postcolonial studies: the question of Palestine, theatre and the role of cultural production in political movements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-175
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Taking Sides: Palestinian Advocacy and Metropolitan Theatre'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this