I Am England, David Lane's 2012 play for teenage audiences is a bold and in many ways troubling adaptation of Coriolanus. It brings the Shakespearean play's engagement with politics, patriotism, integrity of character and the relationship between 'the people' and the formidable individual closer to the worldview and idiom of young British citizens who are in the process of moulding their identities and considering a plethora of political and ideological positions. Commissioned by the egg, the children's theatre of Theatre Royal Bath initially as a reading, then for a full-scale production and developed with their Young People's Company, I Am England takes us to a dystopic England (very noticeably not Britain) and asks us to follow the journey of a young English soldier, Marc Cassen, returning from war and being used as a mascot by the government for further belligerent ambitions. Preceding the Scottish Referendum and tapping into the very mixed public sentiment about England's place in Europe and the EU specifically, I Am England makes for a challenging viewing and reading. Closely building on developmental workshop material with young people, the play comments on youths' difficulties of establishing individual identities against the backdrop of pre-designed metanarratives. This large-ensemble state-of-the-nation play is followed by a shorter performance text by Lane which addresses Titus Andronicus, where, as part of his 'Resurrection' series commissioned by the Theatre Royal Bath ENGAGE Lavinia's character, among other well-known Shakespearean protagonists, is resurrected and given a poetic monologue in a part-professional, part-community promenade performance at the Shakespeare Unplugged Festival.
|Title of host publication||Rome in Shakespeare’s World|
|Editors||Maria Del Sapio|
|Place of Publication||Rome|
|Publisher||Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura (Roma)|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|