Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction

Murray, Simon and Keefe, John (2007) Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction. Routledge, Oxon, UK. ISBN 0415362490

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Abstract / Summary

Murray’s contributions were written partly from the lived experience of being a professional practitioner within the physical theatres ‘boom’ in the 1980s-1990s, and from cumulative academic research since 2001. The book refuses to accept the restricting frame of ‘textbook’ whilst acknowledging an anticipated readership of under- and postgraduate students and informed/curious practitioners. Insisting on the plural construction, ‘physical theatres’, this volume is an exploration of the hybridity and plurality that mark contemporary theatre forms over the last three decades. It acknowledges, traces and interrogates the heterogeneity of traditions and influences that have shaped contemporary physical theatres; at the same time, it suggests that any theatre must be performed and read kinaesthetically. Applying this lens to a selection of plays, both classical and modern, the book argues that the languages of gesture and movement should be as valued as the spoken word when realising a text for the stage.

Challenging the validity of its own terms of reference, the book critically examines a range of pedagogical and performance practices often ascribed to the canon of contemporary physical theatres. In addition, it contextualises the practices it examines by locating them within a range of contemporary theoretical discourses, in particular: cultural materialism, feminist theory, phenomenology, and reception theory.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: This book forms half of a linked project that Routledge invited Murray to write following publication of ‘Jacques Lecoq’ (2003). With John Keefe, Murray had already successfully proposed to the publisher that they should compile a reader of original essays and extant writings around the fluid area of physical theatres. Consequently, the two books became conceived, researched, written and published as ‘companion’ volumes, following e.g. Richard Schechner’s ‘Performance Studies’ (2002) and Henry Bial’s ‘Performance Studies Reader’ (2004). Both co-authors here were involved with all aspects of both books.
ISBN: 0415362490
Depositing User: Ex Falmouth Staff
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2014 09:03
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:03


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