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Article Title

Flexibility, Abstraction, Orthodoxy: The Lehman Trilogy and (the) British Capital

Authors

Alex Ferrone

Abstract

This article examines Stefano Massini’s The Lehman Trilogy (which received its English-language premiere in a translation by Ben Power at the National Theatre in London in 2018) as an emblematic work of “capitalist dramaturgy,” a term I use to denote drama that articulates, in content, a critique of capitalism but whose form reveals the degree to which the capitalist ethos informs dramatic structure. I connect the play’s dramatization of late capitalism, first, to the multivalent and highly adaptable form of the text itself, written in free verse and without line attribution; and, second, to the political context of its transnational European production history—which culminated with commercial productions in London and New York. I argue, finally, that The Lehman Trilogy—in its critique of capital, its flexible dramaturgical structure, and its status as an artistic commodity—performs a remarkable alignment of content, form, and context, revealing the play to be equally as structured by capitalist logic and constrained by capitalist discipline as its subject.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.

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