Contemporary English drama has increasingly engaged with issues of displacement and migration, dramatizing the plight of refugees attempting to enter Europe. Works for the stage address global migrancy and humanitarian crises, while countering stereotyped media representations that tend to construct refugees and forced migrants as markers of crisis. Refugee plays function as “dramatic buffer zones […] re-inscribing alienation into the cultural and social make-up of British society” (Helff 2016:102). This article explores the complexities inherent to the representation on stage of the precarious lives of refugees through an analysis of two plays: Anders Lustgarten’s Lampedusa (2015) and Rukhsana Ahmad’s Homing Birds (2019). As the article suggests, since both plays invite audiences to reflect on issues such as “shelter, work, food, medical care, and legal status”, they can tentatively offer a space for “a more inclusive and egalitarian way of recognizing precariousness.” (Butler 2009: 13)
Precarious lives and the refugee "crisis" in contemporary English drama: Anders Lustgarten’s Lampedusa (2015) and Rukhsana Ahmad’s Homing Birds (2019) / Buonanno, Giovanna. - (2023), pp. 371-383.