Madness in Contemporary British Drama: Depicting the Lived Experience
Miss Wansah Fawaz AlshammariZoom
The lived experience of the mentally disturbed, the space of madness and the othered body has been the concern of medical and literary debate in recent years. British drama since 1918s faced many changes in terms of form and content, especially in the 1990s the period of new writing as Aleks Sierz pointed out and after the introduction of community care in the UK. Among the many changes is a growing body of plays that have been interested in the experience of madness. For instance, contemporary British playwrights such as Sarah Kane, Anthony Neilson and Alan Ayckbourn try to capture madness experience and describe those people who placed as the 'others' of society. They dramatize ways in which characters displaced from their space to inhabit a new world of diaspora.
Critically, inquiries into the representation of madness and the role it plays in drama and theatre are rapidly expanding and are highly interdisciplinary, examining aspects of performance, psychiatric practice and literary studies. Some critics consider madness as illness experience and borrow from theories of present-day medical disciplines, such as neurology and psychiatry. In light of modern psychiatry, this PhD research examines the literary representation of madness in British drama. It utilises a textual analysis approach and explore how British playwrights thematically construct and dramatises the self-experience of madness?