Theatre and Adaptation: Return, Rewrite, Repeat by Dr Margherita Laera

We are delighted to announce the publication of Dr Margherita Laera’s new book, Theatre and Adaptation: Return, Rewrite, Repeat, published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

Contemporary theatrical productions as diverse in form as experimental performance, new writing, West End drama, musicals and live art demonstrate a recurring fascination with adapting existing works by other artists, writers, filmmakers and stage practitioners. Featuring seventeen interviews with internationally-renowned theatre and performance artists, Theatre and Adaptation provides an exceptionally rich study of the variety of work developed in recent years. First-hand accounts illuminate a diverse range of approaches to stage adaptation, ranging from playwriting to directing, Javanese puppetry to British children’s theatre, and feminist performance to Japanese Noh.

The transition of an existing source to the stage is not a smooth one: this collection examines the practices and the complex set of negotiations each work of transition and appropriation involves. Including interviews with Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, Handspring Puppet Company, Katie Mitchell, Rimini Protokoll, Elevator Repair Service, Simon Stephens, Ong Keng Sen and Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the volume reveals performance’s enduring desire to return, rewrite and repeat.


Table of Contents:


Introduction: Return, Rewrite, Repeat: The Theatricality of Adaptation

Margherita Laera


Part 1: Return, Rewrite, Repeat

1. ‘It’s Very Tied to the Content of the Play’: Adrian Kohler, Basil Jones, Mervyn Millar and Jane Taylor of Handspring Puppet Company in Conversation with Nadia Davids

2. Social and Theatrical Adaptation: Grzegorz Jarzyna in conversation with Paul Allain

3. Creating X-Rays of the Text to Dissect the Present: Ivo van Hove of Toneelgroep Amsterdam in Conversation with Peter M. Boenisch

4. ‘Something New Is Sure To Happen’: Daniel Veronese in Conversation with Jean Graham-Jones

5. Conservative Adaptation in Japanese Noh: Udaka Michishige in Conversation with Diego Pellecchia


Part 2: Defusing Tradition

6. On Literality and Limits: Romeo Castellucci of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio in Conversation with Nicholas Ridout

7. The Subtle Aggressors: Julia Bardsley and Simon Vincenzi in Conversation with Dominic Johnson

8. Between Radical Adaptation and Strategic Adaptability: Ki Catur ‘Benyek’ Kuncoro in Conversation with Miguel Escobar

9. Beg, Borrow or Steal: Lois Weaver in Conversation with Jen Harvie


Part 3: Intercultural Encounters

10. Shakespeare/Two Gents Productions: Denton Chikura, Tonderai Munyevu and Arne Pohlmeier of Two Gents Productions in Conversation with Penelope Woods

11. Being Affected: Ong Keng Sen of TheatreWorks Singapore in Conversation with William Peterson

12. Hello Darkness My Old Friend: Alvis Hermanis in Conversation with Alan Read


Part 4: Crafting Adaptations

13. The Novel as Obstacle: John Collins of Elevator Repair Service in Conversation with Aoife Monks

14. Doing the Impossible: Katie Mitchell in Conversation with Dan Rebellato

15. ‘There Are No Formulas’: Emma Rice of Kneehigh in Conversation with Martin Welton

16. ‘Expert’ Dramaturgies: Helgard Haug of Rimini Protokoll in Conversation with Margherita Laera

17. Theatre as an Intellectual Concertina: Simon Stephens in Conversation with Duška Radosavljevic

Notes on Contributors



Link to the publication on the Bloomsbury website: