This article intends to show how Sue Glover’s 1991 play Bondagers engages with the issues of social change and cultural nostalgia in a country like Scotland, whose national and political identity is still so strictly linked with the very nature of its landscape, traditions and language(s). The expedients Glover deploys in order to foreground the intricate relationship between the enduring force of tradition and the inevitability of change are essentially two. Firstly, she has her main characters speak a language evoking an oral culture and mythical dimension with implied socio-political connotations. With its many references to folk music and dance, the play is almost a dramatic translation of the Scottish bothy ballad tradition, as it is also haunted by echoes of Robert Burns, Allan Ramsay and Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Secondly, by staging mainly female outcast figures, Glover gives centrality to a communal female voice, subaltern yet also authoritative. The final melancholy tone and the ambivalent meaning of bondage suggest the effort of preserving Scottish values in a world seemingly developing along different lines.
How to Cite:
Angeletti, G., 2017. The Language of Resistance and the Power of the Female Voice in Sue Glover’s Bondagers (1991). International Journal of Scottish Theatre and Screen, 10, pp.40–56.