Julie Hudson, University of Warwick
This paper considers the treatment of selected early modern dearth plays on the modern stage and, through this approach, raises several topical questions in relation to inter-temporal connections and threads of meaning in modern productions of such plays. To what extent is society-at-large as represented in the theatre sector, in the groups of people involved in production and reception, aware of the potential collision between the natural environment and humanity in the form of an over-use of natural resources by an expanding population? In that context, to what extent is the possibility of a global food crunch recognised or ignored? Can theatrical performances be seen as a litmus test of this aspect of the cultural context? Can the answers to such questions suggest how likely is it that the cultural change needed for behavioural change in respect of potential resource imbalances will arrive in time to avoid the next dearth? Last but not least is there any evidence to suggest that theatrical performance triggers cultural change in this context?