The Listening Theatre: A Metamodern Politics of Performance


  • Tom Drayton University of East London



millennial, metamodernism, political theatre


This article offers a speculative analysis of emerging modalities and methods of creating within contemporary political performance made by British millennial artists that I argue have arisen in response to specific socio-economic, political and philosophical crises affecting us. By locating the term ‘millennial’ as a structure of feeling, as per Raymond Williams, I argue that, despite the inherent hypocrisy of generational research, the impact of these crises upon members of the generation has led particular artists to create empathetic dialogues between audience and performer. This article also argues that the emerging concept of metamodernism, popularised by Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker, is inherent in understanding this reading of the millennial, and descriptive of particular ethical and aesthetic developments within millennial, political theatre. This article argues that these developments are in a direct response to the metamodern shift towards the essence of progress and truth as acts and ideas that also necessitate and propel constant crisis, oscillation and dialogue. 

Author Biography

Tom Drayton, University of East London

Tom Drayton is a theatre director and researcher based in East London. He has written for and directed Pregnant Fish Theatre since 2010 and lectures at The University of Worcester and The University of East London, where he is also studying his doctorate focused on political theatre of the millennial generation. Tom is particularly interested in emerging companies, millennial theatre makers and work created on the interstices of youth politics and urban space. He is also an associate artist for Project Phakama and works with schools in East London to provide children with access to quality, interactive theatre.


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How to Cite

Drayton, Tom. 2018. “The Listening Theatre: A Metamodern Politics of Performance”. Performance Philosophy 4 (1):170-87.