The True Aerialist: The Angel in the House

Bridger, Barbara (2006) The True Aerialist: The Angel in the House. Feminist Review, 84. pp. 141-148. ISSN 0141-7789

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Abstract / Summary

This work forms part of Bridger’s continuing research into language, gender and identity. The central character (the True Aerialist) challenges performance conventions of particular importance for the single, female performer. This is achieved through a series of contradictions that begin with the play’s title and the True Aerialist’s claim to be a liar. Her predisposition to lying is proposed as an aspect of self-description. She emphasizes it in her first speech and reminds the audience of this trait throughout. She also refers to herself later in the performance as ‘not a true aerialist’, but offers rather unconvincing reasons for this. Given that she is a self-confessed liar, we could assume that she is an aerialist. However, her unsuccessful attempts to fly would seem to present a rebuttal of this claim. Using such strategies, the True Aerialist continually subverts the audience’s perception of her as a woman and a performer. As the performance proceeds, her punning, playful approach questions a range of issues, including: the ambiguity of language, viewing and being viewed, the veracity of personal narrative, the role of pretence and the True Aerialist's received sexual identity, as opposed to her plural shifting experience of it.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: 'The True Aerialist' was initially a text for live performance: a monologue for female performer of approximately 4,500 words in length. The published version in ‘Feminist Review’ is a slightly shorter version (approximately 3,200 words), without stage directions and commentary.
ISBN: 0141-7789
ISSN: 0141-7789
Depositing User: Barbara Bridger
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2014 15:47
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2014 15:47
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/497

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