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Iterations of Authorship in Martin Crimp’s Theatre: The City and Complex Acts of Storytelling


  • Vicky Angelaki



Authorship as an aesthetic trope, as well as means and end towards acts of self-assertion and agency, is a recurring reference in Martin Crimp’s work. Recently, explorations of intertex- tuality have added further layers of complexity, with the narrativization of live action wi- thin the realm of the play acquiring an enhanced role through the multiplicity of authorial presences inscribed by the playwright. While this essay surveys the field of Crimp’s output, its primary reference is Crimp’s The City (2008), where the act of writing is elevated to the main plot focus and pivotal formal device. The play exists within the world of a fictional narrative: its artificiality is eventually exposed as dual – stage event for spectators gathered in the theatre, and an – ultimately – open and suspended structure of a fictional narrative, as written by Crimp’s protagonist. In this article, Crimp’s work is examined against a broader theorization of the author debate, engaging with seminal critical texts and relevant recent

dialogues in Theatre Studies.

Author Biography

Vicky Angelaki

Vicky Angelaki is Professor of English Literature at Mid Sweden University (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences) and, in 2022, also Visiting Professor at Sapienza, Uni- versity of Rome. She completed her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London and was based in the United Kingdom for a number of years (Birmingham City University; University of Birmingham; University of Reading). Major publications include the mono- graphs Theatre & Environment (2019), Social and Political Theatre in 21st-Century Britain: Staging Crisis (2017), The Plays of Martin Crimp: Making Theatre Strange (2012), and the edited collection Contemporary British Theatre: Breaking New Ground (2013; 2016). Her most recent monograph is Martin Crimp’s Power Plays: Intertextuality, Sexuality, Desire (Routledge, 2022). She is currently working on the research project Performing Interspaces: Social Fluidities in Contemporary Theatre, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Swe- den). The project will result in an open-access monograph. Angelaki also co-edits the series Adaptation in Theatre and Performance (with Kara Reilly).




How to Cite

Angelaki, V. (2022). Iterations of Authorship in Martin Crimp’s Theatre: The City and Complex Acts of Storytelling. Status Quaestionis, (22).