“How might theatrical performance offer a framework for analysing the performances of politicians?”
This study explores how theatrical concepts can be applied to the analysis of performances given by politicians. The aim of this study is to generate new knowledge and understandings of political performance. The study uses theatrical performances as an analytical framework to examine performances given by Donald Trump, Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon in three separate case studies. Through the analysis of the political performances given by these politicians, this study explores the application of theatrical knowledge to the understanding of politics. Trump, May and Sturgeon were selected as the subjects of analysis in this study as they present a variety of performing styles, political stances and differing levels of skill in both performance and politicking. The analysis conducted focuses on each politician during an exceptional period in their career, political party, or nation. In selecting politically unprecedented periods as a focus, the performative mechanisms and techniques that allow political performance to function become more exposed, as the established routines and norms of political performing become outdated. In the analysis of these political performers, this study finds alignments between the performance techniques employed and the political effects with which they correlate. The analyses presented in this study prove that it is possible to use theatrical performance as a framework for the analysis of political performance. By viewing political performance through a framework of theatrical performance an additional mechanism by which analysis may be conducted is presented and significant insights into the performances examined are drawn.