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'Character doubling has a contested provenance in theatre studies. On the one hand, it has been identified as a way to subvert naturalisation of socialised roles, foregrounding the performativity that scholars such as Judith Butler have identified as being inherent in everyday identity practices. When actors cross ethnic, class, gender, age or other boundaries to achieve doubled or multiple characterisation within a single performance, they can effectively expose and problematise those boundaries' constructedness. Commenting on Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, for example, Bill Naismith suggests that when doubling is used, it "questions the roles that have been imposed on women, past and present. The doubling of parts by an actor can positively undermine the fixedness of roles"' Similarly, discussing postcolonial theatre, Sue-Ellen Case suggests that doubling can "foreground the fabricated roles ... colonialism creates, distancing identity from biology".' Elspeth Tilley.

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Last amended 30 Oct 2012 15:17:48
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