theatre practice and philosophy from a practitioner's point of view

A Rationale for “Mother Courage and Her Children” in 2019

In Brecht’s play, the children are sacrificed on the altar of business. The war rages for over thirty years. Anna Fierling, MOTHER COURAGE, sees no option but to trade on the war for her own survival. It doesn’t take too much thinking to see how the generational divide is stacked in favour of the status quo and their support for the on-going war … even as it kills our kids. Replace “war” with “climate change” see how the outcome is the same

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Releasing a theatre of cruelty for the actor

A huge benefit of Artaud’s thinking for actors is the need to confront the straitjacket of one’s ego and forging a release from the body’s emotional and pent up baggage. In this article, I will attempt to show how two equally restrictive personal qualities from actors need to be released in order that acting can in fact take place with any degree of competency. While there is much that can be written on the subject, this article will focus on one very simple exercise that, if repeated, can produce an excellent vehicle for change, self realisation and development.

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Uncomfortable Legacy of NAZI Art

Authoritarian parents who monster their kids and so keep them in a state of infancy try to nullify any threat to their power and control. The arts are a threat! Like Stalin and many other dictators, they try to make all artistic effort conform to their own tunnel vision of control.

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Analytical Absurdity from Kafka and Havel in The National Curriculum for the Arts

Kafka woke up as a bug in “Metamorphosis” and alerted us all to the ennui that is culture and our existence within it. Any one who doesn’t fit the mould will feel like a bug and be shunned by everyone who every meant anything to them. Postmodernism creates its bugs of people who refuse to be placed in statistical nightmares created by emotionless robots under fluorescent lights. Paradoxically, it accepts every cultural position except that of individual thought and rejection of traditionalism and reductionism. The bug is then the subject for the psychiatrist, the psychologist and the drug companies that ensure the bug remains thinking as a bug and needs to work towards being unbugged to fit and without disorder: in short to become Ionesco’s rhinoceros …¬†

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