Performing Polis: Theatre, Nationness and Civic Identity in Post-Devolution Wales

Heike Roms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses Polis, the latest performance in a long line of theatrical investigations by its director Mike Pearson, first with Welsh company Brith Gof, then with Pearson/Brookes, into the relationship between theatrical and politicalparticipation. Whereas earlier performances by Brith Gof articulated this relationship in reference to a concept of Welsh nationhood, the article argues that Polis marked a transition from a cultural understanding of nationhood to one based on a conception of citizenship, a transition effected by the recent process ofdevolution in Wales. At the same time as devolution has put the perennial questfor a ‘National Theatre’ back on the agenda, Polis’s participatory and deconstructivistformat was devised as an alternative to current simplistic concepts of a ‘National Theatre’ of representation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in Theatre and Performance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • Welsh devolution
  • citizenship
  • national theatre
  • participation
  • pedagogy
  • reflexive performativity


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