Thursday, October 23, 2008

The shackles of mimesis

Already a follow-up on this morning's post, which included a bit about Simon McBurney's staging of All My Sons on Broadway. I should have mentioned that McBurney is a Brit whose company, Complicite, has created such shows as The Street of Crocodiles, The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol and Mnemonic. (Complicite's site mentions that it's currently developing a play with Jonathan Safran Foer.)

Which then led me to belatedly remember this Guardian blog post about stage directing, with which I completely agree. Especially this bit:
"Mainstream Anglo-American theatre tradition remains so absolutely married to the idea of literal-minded mimesis that there is virtually no hint that anything but the text can invent meaning on stage beyond dumb representation."
And this one (if the author thinks realism is overused in England, he should check the US, which is even worse):
"Here's hoping that in a couple of years time, alongside the brilliant realism that the British do so well, we're seeing mould-breaking texts from new writers being staged radically by directors who have cast off the shackles of mimesis and are putting on stage performers who create meaning rather than simply actors who 'look right for the part'."
Casting off the shackles of mimesis! Brilliant!

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