"You're only putting it on"- dressing up, identity and subversion in Northern Irish drama.

Tom Maguire


This essay explores the ways in which dress is used as a marker of political identity in Northern Ireland. It examines the potential for the use of theatrical costume as a process for disrupting the ideological encodings of dress within wider society by tracing how playwrights have sought to disrupt vestimentary codes in performance. It tests the propositions of particular theoretical and critical approaches to theatrical costume, arguing that rather than destabilising identity, such uses of costume affirm the persistence of identity as an act of affiliation to be expressed through outward appearance.


identity; costume; subversive strategies

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