Becoming Human/oid: A Posthumanist Critique of Thomas Eccleshare’s Instructions for Correct Assembly


Karadağ Ö.

in: New Readings in British Drama: From the Post-War Period to the Contemporary Era, Mesut Günenç,Enes Kavak, Editor, Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., Berlin, 2021

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
  • City: Berlin
  • Editors: Mesut Günenç,Enes Kavak, Editor

Abstract

Thomas Eccleshare’s Instructions for Correct Assembly is directed by Hamish Pirie

and first performed in 2018 at Royal Court Theatre. Although at its core the play is about the

trauma of losing a son, the specific choice of competing with loss by purchasing a flatpack

humanoid and the addiction to anthropocentric progress and perfection provide fertile ground

for a posthumanist critique of the play. While the play shows that the humanoid, Jån, is

transformed into a marginalized and colonized other, it also unfolds a desire of becoming

human on Jån’s side, and becoming machine on Max and Hari’s side, however, not in a

Braidottian way. Thus, in the light of Rosi Braidotti’s philosophy of the Posthuman,

becoming and hybridity in Eccleshare’s play become central to a critical posthumanist

reading.