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Title: Irrational theatre : the challenge posed by the plays of Howard Barker for contemporary performance theory and practice
Author: Lamb, Charles
ISNI:       0000 0004 2666 9212
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1992
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This study arose out of an awareness that contemporary performance theories and production techniques were not appropriate to the plays of Howard Barker. The first section, a comparison of Barker with Edward Bond, attempts to 'situate' the former with reference to a major dramatist of the seventies and early eighties. This reveals a number of significant differences, including almost diametrically opposed conceptions of the function of drama. In the second section, I consider Barker against a wider background of deconstructive and postmodernist thinking. As opposed to Bond's Brechtian notion of a Rational theatre, I argue that Barker's theatre is irrational and suggest that irrational interaction is Seduction. Barker's plays are considered from the point of view of a theory of seduction - in particular Jean Baudrillard's. There follows a review of a range of discourses on performance by influential practitioners such as Stanislavsky. Although seduction is identifiable in all their practices, it is almost universally denied or shunned - except by Grotowski. Also the focus of acting technique is invariably on the actor/character relation with little consideration of interaction with others. The third section considers in some detail two plays by Barker - JUDITH and THE CASTLE, analysing them from a seductive perspective.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater