Jacques Lecoq and the British Theatre

Jacques Lecoq and the British Theatre

Jacques Lecoq and the British Theatre brings together the first collection of essays in English to focus on Lecoq's school of mime and physical theatre. For four decades, at his school in Paris, Jacques Lecoq trained performers from all over the world and effected a quiet evolution in the theatre. The work of such highly successful Lecoq graduates as Theatre de Complicite (The Winter's Tale with the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Visit, The Street of Crocodiles and The Causcasian Chalk Circle with the Royal National Theatre) has brought Lecoq's work to the attention of mainstream critics and audiences in Britain. Yet Complicte is just the tip of the Iceberg. The contributors to this volume, most of them engaged in applying Lecoq's work, chart some of the diverse ways in which it has had an impact on our conceptions of mime, physical theatre, actor training, devising street theatre and interculturalism. This lively - even provocative - collection of essays focuses academic debate and raises awareness of the impact of Lecoq's work in Britain today.

On the Art of the Theatre

On the Art of the Theatre

First published in 1911, On the Art of the Theatre remains one of the seminal texts of theatre theory and practice. Actor, director, designer and pioneering theorist, Edward Gordon Craig was one of twentieth century theatre’s great modernisers. Here, he is eloquent and entertaining in expounding his views on the theatre; a crucial and prescient contribution that retains its relevance almost a century later. This reissue contains a wealth of new features: a specially written Introduction and notes from editor Franc Chamberlain an updated bibliography further reading. Controversial and original, On the Art of the Theatre stands as one of the most influential books on theatre of the twentieth century.

The Moving Body (Le Corps Poetique)

Teaching Creative Theatre

The Moving Body (Le Corps Poetique)

'In life I want students to be alive and on stage I want them to be artists' Jacques Lecoq Jacques Lecoq was one of the most inspirational theatre teachers of our age. The International Theatre School he founded in Paris remains an unrivalled centre for the art of physical theatre. In The Moving Body, Lecoq shares his unique philosophy of performance, improvisation, masks, movement and gesture which together form one of the greatest influences on contemporary theatre. Neutral mask, character mask, and counter masks, bouffons, acrobatics and commedia, clowns and complicity: all the famous Lecoq techniques are covered here - techniques that have made their way into the work of former collaborators and students inluding Dario Fo, Julie Taymor, Ariane Mnouchkine, Yasmina Reza and Theatre de Complicité. This paperback edition contains a Foreword by Simon McBurney, Artistic Director of Complicité and an Afterword by Fay Lecoq, Director of the International Theatre School in Paris.

Costume in Performance

Materiality, Culture, and the Body

Costume in Performance

This beautifully illustrated book conveys the centrality of costume to live performance. Finding associations between contemporary practices and historical manifestations, costume is explored in six thematic chapters, examining the transformative ritual of costuming; choruses as reflective of society; the grotesque, transgressive costume; the female sublime as emancipation; costume as sculptural art in motion; and the here-and-now as history. Viewing the material costume as a crucial aspect in the preparation, presentation and reception of live performance, the book brings together costumed performances through history. These range from ancient Greece to modern experimental productions, from medieval theatre to modernist dance, from the 'fashion plays' to contemporary Shakespeare, marking developments in both culture and performance. Revealing the relationship between dress, the body and human existence, and acknowledging a global as well as an Anglo and Eurocentric perspective, this book shows costume's ability to cross both geographical and disciplinary borders. Through it, we come to question the extent to which the material costume actually co-authors the performance itself, speaking of embodied histories, states of being and never-before imagined futures, which come to life in the temporary space of the performance. With a contribution by Melissa Trimingham, University of Kent, UK

The Decroux Sourcebook

The Decroux Sourcebook

The Decroux Sourcebook is the first point of reference for any student of the ‘hidden master’ of twentieth century theatre. This book collates a wealth of key material on Etienne Decroux, including: an English translation of Patrice Pezin’s ‘Imaginary Interview’, in which Decroux discusses mime’s place in the theatre. previously unpublished articles by Decroux from France’s Bibiothèque Nationale. essays from Decroux’s fellow innovators Eugenio Barba and Edward Gordon Craig, explaining the synthesis of theory and practice in his work. Etienne Decroux’s pioneering work in physical theatre is here richly illustrated not only by a library of source material, but also with a gallery of images following his life, work and influences. The Decroux Sourcebook is an ideal companion to Thomas Leabhart’s Etienne Decroux in the Routledge Performance Practitioners series, offering key primary and secondary resources to those conducting research at all levels.

Actor Training

Actor Training

Actor Training expands on Alison Hodge’s highly-acclaimed and best-selling Twentieth Century Actor Training. This exciting second edition radically updates the original book making it even more valuable for any student of the history and practice of actor training. The bibliography is brought right up to date and many chapters are revised. In addition, eight more practitioners are included - and forty more photographs - to create a stunningly comprehensive study. The practitioners included are: Stella Adler; Eugenio Barba; Augusto Boal; Anne Bogart; Bertolt Brecht; Peter Brook; Michael Chekhov; Joseph Chaikin; Jacques Copeau; Philippe Gaulier; Jerzy Grotowski; Maria Knebel; Jacques Lecoq; Joan Littlewood; Sanford Meisner; Vsevolod Meyerhold; Ariane Mnouchkine; Monika Pagneux; Michel Saint-Denis; Włodzimierz Staniewski; Konstantin Stanislavsky; Lee Strasberg The historical, cultural and political context of each practitioner’s work is clearly set out by leading experts and accompanied by an incisive and enlightening analysis of the main principles of their training, practical exercises and key productions. This book is an invaluable introduction to the principles and practice of actor training and its role in shaping modern theatre.

Improvisation in Drama, Theatre and Performance

History, Practice, Theory

Improvisation in Drama, Theatre and Performance

This established text explores the history, theory and practice of improvisation within the rapidly changing field of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. New material includes improvisation in film, stand-up comedy, LARPing, applied theatre and theatre sports. It contains a wealth of new exercises and examples from contemporary practitioners.

The Paris Jigsaw

Internationalism and the City's Stages

The Paris Jigsaw

Paris has always exerted a magnetic force on artists; it has historically offered safety to those escaping oppressive regimes in Europe and farther afield. In recent years it has welcomed performers, artists and intellectuals from all over the world, offering strategies for the practice of theatre in a new Europe of ever-shifting boundaries. This book, once again available in paperback, examines the creation and development of communities of actors, directors, designers and playwrights in Paris over the past thirty years. It shows how the willingness of the city to welcome international influences has enriched its creative life. Many of the most important trends and new developments in the art of theatre have been the direct result of the creative combination of influences from all over the world. This study demonstrates how the pioneering work of Brook, Boal, Mnouchkine, Lecoq and many others has been able to draw on this vibrant, multi-cultural mix, in turn creating new work that has enriched theatre's potential to enlarge our thinking and our imagination.

Changing Performance

Culture and Performance in the British Theatre Since 1945

Changing Performance

This book examines changes in performance practice in mainstream British theatre since 1945 which focus on the attempt by directors and companies to replace the realism of inter-war theatre with more physically and vocally expressive acting and ensemble approach to production processes. The aim was to replace the capitalist line-management approach of the commercial theatre with a more democratic collaborative structure that would encourage contribution to the creation of the performance text by the director, writer, actors, designers and technicians. Theatre is viewed as a mode of socio-cultural practice and its evolution in Britain during the second half of the twentieth century is explored in the context of changes in cultural perception, state subsidy, the social status of theatre, technology, and aesthetic influences from abroad. The study focuses not on dramatic texts but on mainstream productions that represent stages in an aesthetic evolution. They include Terence Rattigan's "The Browning Version" (1946); Theatre Workshop's "A Taste of Honey "(1958) and "Oh What a Lovely War" (1963); The Royal Shakespeare Company's "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" (1962), "The Wars of the Roses" (1963), "The Theatre of Cruelty Laboratory" (1964), "The Marat-Sade" (1964) and "US "(1966); Steven Berkoff's "Metamorphosis" (1969) and Complicite's "The Three Lives of Lucy Cabrol" (1994).

Steven Berkoff and the Theatre of Self-Performance

Steven Berkoff and the Theatre of Self-Performance

Steven Berkoff is a playwright, director and actor largely disregarded by theater scholars. Since the 1960s, however, this notorious Cockney enfant terrible and "scourge of the Shakespeare industry" has left an imprint on modern British theatre that has been as impossible to ignore as his in-your-face stage presence. Steven Berkoff and the Theatre of Self-Performance, the first thorough and in-depth study of this contentious artist, examines the wide-ranging strategies adopted by Berkoff in the construction and projection of his larger-than-life public persona.