«Come muovermi nel mio corpo da uomo»: il corpo maschile travestito nel teatro inglese, dai ragazzi attori a Caryl Churchill
Copyright (c) 2020 Serena Guarracino
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Among the many traditions of cross-dressing in performing practices, English Renaissance theatre plays a central symbolic role, especially considering the Shakespearean canon; however, only through the disruptive reading of gender and queer studies Shakespeare’s theatre has been studied as a transvestite theatre in which all female parts were played by boy actors. This article intends to show how this transvestite body opens a diachronic perspective on those theatrical practices of the second half of the twentieth century that rediscover the Elizabethan stage as a locus of artifice. Renaissance and twentieth-century theatre thus share the transvestite male body, not following a linear dynamic of model and imitation, but in a much more complex interweaving of echoes and returns. Through an analysis of two works by the playwright Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine (1979) and A Mouthful of Birds (1986), the essay explores the transvestite male body as a place of dialogue between the Shakespearean and the contemporary scene, which share effeminacy -here understood as the staging of femininity on a male body- as a detonator for a wider crisis of binary categories.