Publication Details

Hamilton, M. M. "Hayloft's Thyestes: adapting Seneca for the Australian stage and context." Theatre Journal 66 .4 (2014): 519-539.


This essay examines The Hayloft Project's theatre production Thyestes, first performed at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne in 2010. It takes as its starting point public criticism of the practice of adaptation as a derivative form. Contrary to this position, the essay applies recent theorizations of theatre as a hypermedium in order to argue that adaptation is an integral, structural component of theatre rather than simply an intertextual, representational strategy. In doing so, it positions Brechtian approaches to the medium as a historical precedent through which to consider the dramaturgical strategies at work in the production, and it extrapolates on Walter Benjamin's idea of citation as a formative interruption to critique scholarly conceptions of the practice as a "second," palimpsestic form. The essay thus extends the discussion of adaptation beyond the language of alteration and re-creation. Finally, it explores the misapprehensions that result from reading adaptation purely in representational terms in its discussion of adaptation in an Australian context.



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