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Barker has been acclaimed as 'England's greatest living dramatist' in The Times and as 'the Shakespeare of our age' by Sarah Kane. His uniquely stylish work brings together startlingly original forms of classical discipline, moral ruthlessness and catastrophic eroticism. This study considers the full range of his theatrical achievements.
Fifteen varied essays discuss the style, language and vision of one of Britain's most influential and controversial playwrights. Focusing on different aspects of what Barker has called the Theatre of Catastrophe, an international range of academics offer illuminating interpretations of his work. It includes analyses of the political, moral and historical aspects of his writing, its poetry and eroticism, its depiction of the figure of the artist, and Barker's writing in performance.
Director-dramatist Howard Barker is a restlessly prolific, compulsively controversial and provocative multi-media artist. Beyond his internationally performed and acclaimed theatrical productions, and his award-winning theatre company The Wrestling School, he is also a poet, a painter whose work has been exhibited internationally, and a philosophical essayist cognisant of the unique power of art to provoke moral speculation, and of the distinctive theatricality of the human being in times of crisis. This collection of essays provides international perspectives on the full range of Barker's achievements, theatrical and otherwise, and argues for their unique importance and urgency at the forefront of several genres of provocative modern art. It includes an interview with the artist and an essay by Barker himself.