I am a Poor, Skinny Man': Persona and physicality in the work of Karl Valentin

Wilson, Mike and Double, Oliver (2008) I am a Poor, Skinny Man': Persona and physicality in the work of Karl Valentin. Studies in Theatre and Performance, 28 (3). pp. 213-221. ISSN 1468-2761

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Abstract / Summary

The celebrated Munich cabaret artist Karl Valentin first came to prominence with his performance of his sketch Das Aquarium in 1908. This was also the moment at which he first established a comedy based upon extreme logic, wordplay and verbal misunderstanding, which in turn created a world in which his innocent matter-of-fact-ness exposed the absurdities of social situations. This article explores Valentin's use of his extraordinary skinniness to create both an effective comic persona and a comic physicality in his work. The authors argue that it was in Valentin's slightly earlier sketch, Ich bin ein armer magerer Mann, that the comedian found his physical comic voice, and they go on to provide an analysis of the importance of physicality in Valentin's work, particularly in relation to this sketch. A new translation of the sketch is also provided.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1386/stap.28.3.213_1
Additional Information: Also presented at: 'Persona and Physicality in the Work of Karl Valentin' (with Oliver Double, University of Kent), Playing for Laughs Symposium on Comedy Performance, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.
ISSN: 1468-2761
Subjects: ?? 790 ??
?? 792 ??
Depositing User: Mike Wilson
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2014 14:15
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 13:14
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/632


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