Aging theme in Contemporary Theatre: Ghost from a Perfect Place

Proceedings of The 5th International Academic Conference on Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2022



Aging theme in Contemporary Theatre: Ghost from a Perfect Place

Asst. Prof. Dr. Belgin Bağırlar



Critical gerontology has become a popular topic in recent years as more literary scholars focus their attention on aging. Contemporary British theatre never stays silent about the social and cultural changes of whatever period it happens to be in. As such and in the context of critical gerontology, it approaches old age and longevity from different perspectives. Examining how Ridley approaches ageing and longevity in his play Ghost from a Perfect Place (1994), the primary purpose of this study is to explore how Ridley perceives ageing and youth by culturally analysing the play. Its secondary aim is to probe Philip Ridley’s take on gender ideologies through the lens of feminist gerontology. In his play, Ridley brings together both the socio-cultural realms of young and old like to make viewers aware of just how different they are from one another. In the play, elder Travis and young Rio represent two different cultures that diverge in terms of their longevity and gender. To Ridley, old age in a dystopian modern world is both a time for redemption and a time to witness the disappearance of binaries of gender. That world, moreover, no longer contains any traces of patriarchal policy.  Ridley finishes the play in an open-ended format, draws a clear cut cultural distinction between old and young, as well as past and future.

keywords: British Theatre, Gender roles, Longevity, Philip Ridley, Youth culture.