Politicising Euripides: A Mouthful of Birds by Caryl Churchill and David Lan
The article discusses A Mouthful of Birds by Caryl Churchill and David Lan in terms of its relation to its Greek inspiration: Euripides’ Bacchae. Contrary to Michael Billington’s opinion that the fascination with the classics which dominated the 1980s theatre in Britain led to the emergence of an ‘interpretative culture’ motivated by artists’ inability to address current political issues, the article analyses a 1980s play that uses its classical source precisely to make political statements. In the course of the article the intertextual links between A Mouthful of Birds and The Bacchae are analysed with special focus on the politics motivating the modern text. Julie Sanders’ theory of literary appropriation is used to discuss selected themes addressing feminist, postcolonial and gender politics.