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In The Alexandra Sequence John Redmond views contemporary urban life through the suggestive prism of the 'mummers play', a seasonal British folk-theatre staged in the streets and door-to-door.
The book's title takes its name from an area of Liverpool, a city shaped by its recent history of trade and migration, still recovering after a long period of decline.
Experiences of urban uprootedness and social precarity shape suburban livelihoods that are 'livid with accident'.
Drawing on the two central themes of the mummers play - combat and resurrection - the poems reveal both dark and light parallels between the modern neighbourhood and medieval theatre: the carnivalesque zombie-drummers marching through a local park find their mirror-image in the daily disguises of life in a housing estate, or in the masked infractions of the 2011 England Riots.
Mixing narrative and lyric, Redmond paints a neighbourhood of lively, unlikely references, from Juvenal to Tommy Cooper, Brueghel to indie rock.
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