The thesis is an examination of the connection between politics, culture and the contemporary
practice of theatre in Scotland. It looks at Scottish history in the context of the nation's
incorporation into the British Union and results in dramatic texts and performances. The reason for
this is because Scotland presents an unusual picture of a postcolonial cultural space. The study uses
the combination of postcolonial, cultural and performance theories to investigate this connection.
Chapter One is devoted to the cultural sociology of Scotland. It examines the political and social
contexts of the national culture, its components and how the interaction between politics and
culture occurs. The chapter concludes by pointing out that this interaction frames the
postcolonial framework of the country.
Chapter Two examines how the remaking of cultural identity in Scotland is carried out
within the postcolonial framework, and how this is reflected in the spheres of representation. The
chapter proposes two models of identity conceptualisation; addresses the centrality of language
and the roles it plays in the cultural remaking of the subjective national-self. The chapter also
examines the nature and character of theatrical practice in Scotland, and concludes that while its
activities occur within a postcolonial framework, Scottish theatre fits into the paradigm of a
national-popular theatre. This chapter uses dramatic and performance theories to define popular
theatre, its conceptual boundaries and functions.
Chapter Three analyses four play texts, which are deemed to portray some aspects of the
contingent origin of Scotland's postcolonial identity. These are plays modelled on history. The
chapter later addresses the issue of genre, which is raised implicitly by the analysed plays. It
concludes that in the wake of the performance of postcolonial subjectivity, postcolonial theatre
usually breaks the genre barrier.
Chapter Four continues the analysis of texts. A text that addresses the composite
character of Scottish postcoloniality is examined. The thesis contests the attempts by the text to
resituate the meaning of the 'composite' as a subject of class analysis. As a result of that attempt,
there were tensions generated in the 'reception' of the performance of the text. The chapter
concludes by stressing that the tension illustrates the character of postcolonial embodiment in
Chapter Five addresses another set of texts. These are the realist plays. The chapter
looks at the meaning and practice of realism in the Scottish contexts. The chapter justifies
realism as enabling a representation of national subjectivity from a perspective that other forms
of theatre would have made less visible.
The conclusion summarises the theoretical questions of the thesis. The thesis concludes
by pointing out that theatre is one of the areas of representation where it is frequently shown that
Scotland is a postcolonial cultural space.