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Theatre Of Cruelty

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Mollie Musgrove

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Theatre Of Cruelty

Theater Of Cruelty What is Theatre Of cruelty? Theatre Of cruelty is a style of acting that plays on the audience senses via smell, tastes, sounds and imagery.

A Theatre of cruelty piece would be staged "in the round" as it is very intimate and the audience can feel part of the action and is easier for them to connect with the actors on stage. Theatre of Cruelty was first introduced by the practitioner Artaud “It is a dangerous theatre, which threatens the identities and bodies of both participants and spectators. It aims for immediacy" It is a form of theatre that Artaud hoped would unleash unconscious responses in audiences and performers that were normally inaccessible. He wanted audiences to find in the theatre not an area to escape from the world, but the realisation of their worst nightmares and deepest fears. He therefore tried to provoke conditions that would force the release of primitive instincts he believed were hidden beneath the civilised social veneer masking all human behaviour.He proposed to do so by shocking them with mythic spectacles that would include groans, screams, pulsating lights, and oversized stage puppets.
Describing the energy and impact of a radical new way of performing and responding in strong and often dark imagery, he envisioned a theatre that rejected rational interpretation. Instead, he welcomed the irrational impulses that could be stimulated by suffering and pain and argued that every facet of theatricality should be employed to increase a sense of danger, violence and disorientation in the audience. He wanted an emotional response to make the audience feel uncomfortable.  

Even Artaud himself said it is very hard to accomplish this type of theatre and he himself as not even done so. Artaud looked at many different art forms; poetry, acting, film and theatre but found he could represent the "fiercest" most accurate truth. Movements,Gestures, Actions

Artaud strongly believed in an actor's physical potential. He believed that movement was very important part of an actor's job when conveying a role. Movement was not naturalistic. Artaud encouraged distorted and exaggerated movements. He directed actors to use puppet like movements and even animal or monster movements. He liked the actors movements to have symbolic meanings e.g. forming patterns of spiraling circles could carry a meaning of never ending nature of torture.

Artaud experimented with different breathing patterns. He believed breath could stimulate different parts of the body to release different emotions. Artaud also liked his actors to use many different levels and use the space all around the auditorium. This was to ensure the audience felt physically engulfed by the action and unable to escape. The Performance His plays and influences "I say that the present state of society is iniquitous and is ready to be destroyed. It is the work of theatre to preoccupy itself with this" Artaud wanted an art that shook people to their primal core and which created new symbols and did not repeat old ones.   It was Artaud’s belief that theatre was the best vehicle for this ‘new art’ and well situated to “breathing life back into the shadows of the soul”.   From the surrealist school of thought, Artaud’s work was based on mythical themes and was presented in a ritualistic style.   He minimized the use of dialogue and substituted gestures, physical movement and sounds. In addition, his work was aggressive in its presentation, approach, and subject matter earning it the name, “theatre of cruelty.”   A noted poet and screenwriter, One of Artaud’s original plays is Les Cenci, a play which recounts the ferocity and corruption of the Italian Renaissance. Another is Jet of Blood (Jet de Sang), also known as Spurt of Blood, is an extremely short play completed in Paris, on January 17, 1925, In the 1950s, the concept of Theatre of Cruelty was used to describe some of the dark views of human existence evident in the plays of writers like Albert Camus and Jean Genet. Theatre Of Cruelty Productions Jet Of Blood El teatro de la crueldad Theatre Of Cruelty Play Reviews An electrifyingly theatrical séance that imagines the last moments of consciousness of the great theatrical innovator. It is an extraordinarily hallucinatory hour, strung together by the combination of Wright and Artaud’s razor-sharp wit, an amazing soundtrack that seems like the noises, drips and clangings of a leaking mind, a dazzlingly simple staging of white sheets and lights that creates all the terror of electric-shock therapy, and a firm belief in the wisdom of the insane. ’
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian (Critics Choice) Artaud In wonderland
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