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Skin Deep, a Self-Revealing Act: Monologue, Monodrama, and Mixedness in the Work of SuAndi and Mojisola Adebayo

By Deirdre Osborne

Abstract

Notably, a number of dramatic monologues and monodramas written and performed by black British women of multi-ethnic heritage employ polyphonic and transgeneric techniques to articulate perspectives and experiences of mixedness. SuAndi’s monologue “Passing” (1990) and the monodramas The Story of M (2002) by SuAndi and Moj of the Antarctic (2008) by Mojisola Adebayo loosen perceptions of racial and chromatic determiners as not fixed, but mixed. The features of their work create cross-talk between theatre and spoken word poetry, placing mixed experiences at the heart of theatre performance. This article gives recognition to the power of women as solo performers and the kinds of herstories that are restored to sociocultural and, by extension, theatre histories through the liveness of women who perform their own work and the revisions they forge in terms of uses of genre, audience assumptions, casting, and critical receptions. From positions of indigenous cultural and racial heterogeneity, SuAndi’s and Adebayo’s work adds a further complexity to conceptions of diasporic heritage within Britain’s national story, one where claiming family roots is represented as problematic in the eyes of the beholder (surrounding society) but celebrated through their individual acts of cultural reclamation and artistic validation

Publisher: de Gruyter GmbH
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1515/jcde-2013-0006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.gold.ac.uk:9372
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