New Theatre Quarterly

Research Article

‘Transforming’ Women's Lives: Bobby Baker's Performances of ‘Daily Life’

Elaine Aston

Abstract

In an earlier issue of New Theatre Quarterly, NTQ55 (August 1998), Marcia Blumberg examined the setting of the kitchen in performances by Bobby Baker and Jeanne Goosen, arguing for the ‘transitional and transgressive’ possibilities of this domesticcum-performance space. Here, Elaine Aston returns to the ‘kitchen’ in Bobby Baker's performances of ‘daily life’. The article examines Baker's ‘language’ of food which ‘speaks’ of domesticity, and her conjunction of comic playing and the hysterical marking of the body, to show how her performance work constitutes an angry, feminist protest at the lack of social transformation in women's lives. Elaine Aston has authored a number of studies on contemporary women's theatre, and is Chair of Contemporary Performance and Theatre Studies, Lancaster University.