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Emancipating Madame Butterfly: Intention and process in adapting and queering a text.

Bamford, N., 2016. Emancipating Madame Butterfly: Intention and process in adapting and queering a text. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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BAMFORD, Nick_Ph.D._2016.pdf



I have long had an interest in reworking iconic love stories from the romantic world of opera into contemporary, gay contexts, with the intention of demonstrating the similarities as well as the differences between homosexual and heterosexual relationships. I have not been satisfied with my attempts thus far, and so, as I adapt the story made famous by Puccini in Madama Butterfly, I want to readdress and to improve my practice to ensure that the resulting screenplay speaks authentically to a 21st century audience whilst still echoing its forebear. Using this creative practice, this PhD extends into the process of adaptation Dallas J. Baker’s (2011) concept of ‘queered practice-­‐led research’. It begins with an historical case-­‐study of the genealogy of the story that became Madama Butterfly and its descendants, looking for the intentions of the creators of each version. Through this process I seek to identify the essence of the story – its ‘genetic identity’ in terms of both theme and plot – from which I will create my new version. Crucially, the thesis is written from my perspective as a practitioner, and maintains focus on my intention in embarking on the adaptation project. The thesis continues with reflection on my practice in writing the adapted screenplay, exploring the effect of the changes I have made, the most significant being making the central relationship homosexual. It examines how that queering process fundamentally alters the story in far more respects than simply the gender and sexuality of the central characters, and suggests that it liberates the story. In conclusion it reflects on how my research has informed my practice, and my practice my research, and assesses how the additional freedoms afforded by queering the story have liberated it, and have enhanced my practice as a screenwriter.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:screenwriting ; adaptation ; queering
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:24746
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:19 Sep 2016 14:16
Last Modified:09 Aug 2022 16:03


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