In October 1995, less than two years
after RobertLepage’s 1992–94 Cycle Shakespeare tour
ended in Québec City, Canada narrowly avoided what seemed like
national dissolution when Québec voters, by a margin of only one
per cent, turned down a proposal to negotiate sovereignty from the
country. The tour of the Cycle – comprised of Coriolan,
Macbeth and La Tempête
Responding to the resurgence of verbatim theatre that emerged in Britain, Australia, the United States and other parts of the world in the early 1990s, this book offers one of the first sustained, critical engagements with contemporary verbatim, documentary and testimonial dramaturgies. Offering a new reading of the history of the documentary and verbatim theatre form, the book relocates verbatim and testimonial theatre away from discourses of the real and representations of reality and instead argues that these dramaturgical approaches are better understood as engagements with forms of truth-telling and witnessing. Examining a range of verbatim and testimonial plays from different parts of the world, the book develops new ways of understanding the performance of testimony and considers how dramaturgical theatre can bear witness to real events and individual and communal injustice through the re-enactment of personal testimony. Through its interrogation of different dramaturgical engagements with acts of witnessing, the book identifies certain forms of testimonial theatre that move beyond psychoanalytical accounts of trauma and reimagine testimony and witnessing as part of a decolonised project that looks beyond event-based trauma, addressing instead the experience of suffering wrought by racism and other forms of social injustice.
This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.
Ralph Fiennes’s cinematic
Coriolanus , released commercially in the winter of
2011–12, is another product of ‘global Shakespeare’,
though one that draws on the aesthetics of the Hollywood movie rather
than the avant-garde theatrical techniques of RobertLepage’s
Coriolan. Fiennes, who made his directorial debut with and
starred in this Coriolanus , produced the
throughout this volume is, I believe, a central and
(re)emergent preoccupation within performance culture today.
RobertLepage’s Dragon’s Trilogy (2005, first premiered 1985) is a
little under six hours long and, as such, it is at times both demanding and exhausting. Somewhere towards the end of the second
hour a scene begins in which the actors pretend to ice-skate
around a rectangular path that marks out the edges of the stage.
The sound system streams classical music helping to augment the
suggested scene of an idyllic afternoon out. The actors’/characters’
Foreign Antony and Cleopatra in Britain and abroad
Carol Chillington Rutter
that could have been signed ‘John Bull’, a mark of residual cultural supremacism barely disguising its anxious English protectionism, a kind of scramble for identity in the inter-war years as the British Empire crumbled and England clutched tightly the national icons that made England England.
Such chauvinism persisted. Echoes of the Leontovich lampoon were heard sixty years later in Kenneth Hurren's comments on the ‘funny accent’ of the Québécoise Angela Laurier, who played Puck in RobertLepage's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the National