From narrative to spectacle: An examination of contemporary theatre performance

Adams, Katherine

Drama
August 2008

Thesis or dissertation


Rights
© 2008 Katherine Adams. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Abstract

Drawing on Debord and Baudrillard, this thesis takes its starting point the shift from text to image dominated representations of the world. It argues the parallel shifts in theatre practice and reception away from work which subordinates itself to textual narrative and towards theatre with foreground the non-textual theatrical elements is becoming more defined in Britain. Within there is a concern with the relationship between narrative, the spectacle and disruptive modes of engagement, drawing out in each chapter a different aspect of the implications for creating and engaging with theatre where the spectacle of society is ubiquitous.

The introductory chapter will first outline how narrative can be defined and discuss the significance of experience of reality through spectacular representation looking at how the notion of the spectator and the experience of engagement with theatre have changed, then the following six chapters will address the relationship between the spectacle and virtuosity in performance; the implications for politics of identity and for resistance to the spectacle; the experience of immersion through participation in spectacular performance; and distance through engagement with ironic spectacle, before in the final chapter, addressing theatre which constructs itself as international through multilingualism and new media technology.

Each chapter focuses on one or two practitioners examining one of their performances in detail in relation to one of the areas outlined above. This analysis will be based on my own experience as a spectator, research into the companies, their reception in the media and academic writing, and where possible through interviews with members of the company.

Publisher
Department of Drama, The University of Hull
Supervisor
Iball, Helen; Peacock, D. Keith
Sponsor (Organisation)
University of Hull
Qualification level
Doctoral
Qualification name
PhD
Language
English
Extent
Filesize: NaNKB
Identifier
hull:1743
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