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Author: Robert Ormsby

Coriolanus resonated for a Jacobean London audience through performance, assuming it actually was performed in the early seventeenth century. This book focuses on the postwar-productions of the Shakespeare's play. It deals with the Laurence Olivier's 1959 version at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, the reconfiguration of Bertolt Brecht in the 1960s and early 1970s, and the Royal Shakespeare Company's staging of the play in 1972. Alan Howard won the 1978 London Theatre critics award for Best Actor, starred in successful Coriolanus remounts at Nottingham and London in 1978. The 1984-85 National Theatre's Coriolanus reveals the Shakespeare-plus-relevance ideology under strain from the factious political climate, and Peter Hall's outburst in 1985 was the result of years of stagnant arts funding from Margaret Thatcher's government. The book discusses goulash communism that characterized the mid-1980s Hungary and the staging of Coriolanus in Budapest by Gabor Szekely, and the 1988 theatrically radical presentation at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Coriolan embodies the competing influences that help define Robert Lepage's Shakespeare production, which overlapped the highly charged political events in Canada when Quebec voters turned down a proposal to negotiate sovereignty from the country. The new Globe theatre's Coriolanus in May 2006 was the inaugural production under the theatre's new artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole. This Coriolanus appeared to be designed to fulfil a set of expectations related to a certain image of Globe performance. Ralph Fiennes's film in 2011-12 made Coriolanus a failed action hero in denying him unambiguously heroic status.

Robert Lepage’s Coriolan
Robert Ormsby

In October 1995, less than two years after Robert Lepage’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

in Coriolanus
Rethinking verbatim dramaturgies

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.

Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

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.

Robert Ormsby

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 Robert Lepage’s Coriolan. Fiennes, who made his directorial debut with and starred in this Coriolanus , produced the

in Coriolanus
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A structure of feeling
Patrick Duggan

throughout this volume is, I believe, a central and (re)emergent preoccupation within performance culture today. Robert Lepage’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’ shoes, the

in Trauma-tragedy
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 Robert Lepage's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the National

in Antony and Cleopatra