"Words, always words, but no action"...? The actor's body as a heterotopic language calling for reconciliations in Bill Morrison's "The Marriage" (1993) - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
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"Words, always words, but no action"...? The actor's body as a heterotopic language calling for reconciliations in Bill Morrison's "The Marriage" (1993)

Abstract

The Marriage is the first play of Bill Morrison's trilogy A Love Song for Ulster written in 1993 and first performed in the same year at the London Tricycle Theatre. It is an allegory for the partition of the South and the North of Ireland in 1921. The problematic bringing together of Kate, a Catholic from the South, and John and Victor, Protestant men from the North at the service of Great-Britain, may well echo the upheavals the nation encountered throughout the 20th century. Yet, their union might ultimately reflect the aim to reach peace and harmony in Northern Ireland. Within this piece, the notion of private property, notably in term of land, is crucial. Indeed, in his notes on staging, Bill Morrison confided that "the place is a house set in a landscape, the ownership of which is constantly in dispute. Therefore its boundaries are of great importance. The symbolic defined space matters much more than the furnishings which should be basic." That is why Kate and John's house is the location where the entire intrigue takes place. This paper focuses on the playing of actors as written in Bill Morrison's text. It sheds light to the way the actor's body becomes the very place where the Northern Irish problem arises, where the Northern Irish tensions are held. Since Morrison was brought up in a Northern Irish Protestant family, we may indeed wonder if the play is orange, i.e. if it promotes Britishness. After studying the link between the actor's body and national symbols so as to tackle the question of the colour of the play, I shall look into Michel Foucault's notion of "heterotopias" to demonstrate that there is in fact no precise political ideology driving Morrison's text and play. On the contrary, the actor's body is seen as the heterotopic "fifth" province of Ireland.
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hal-00751355 , version 1 (13-11-2012)

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  • HAL Id : hal-00751355 , version 1

Cite

Virginie Privas-Bréauté. "Words, always words, but no action"...? The actor's body as a heterotopic language calling for reconciliations in Bill Morrison's "The Marriage" (1993). Staging Thought : Essays on Irish Theatre, Scholarship and Practice, Peter Langs Publisher, pp.93-109, 2012. ⟨hal-00751355⟩
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