Arguments for a Theatre / Edition 3

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Howard Barker, author of over thirty plays, has long been an implacable foe of the liberal British establishment, and champion of radical theatre world-wide. His best-known plays include The Castle, Scenes from an Execution and The Possibilities. All of his plays are emotionally highly charged, intellectually stimulating and far removed from the theatrical conventions of what he terms ‘the Establishment Theatre’. These fragments, essays, thoughts and poems on the nature of theatre likewise reject the constraints of ‘objective’ academic theatre criticism. They explore the collision (and collusion) of intellect and artistry in the creative act. This book is more than a collection of essays: it is a cultural manifesto for Barker’s own ‘Theatre of Catastrophe’.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719052491
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/1997
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 9
Plays by Howard Barker 11
Poetry by Howard Barker 13
Forty nine asides for a tragic theatre 17
Ye gotta laugh 20
Conversation with a dead poet 25
On language in drama 29
Radical elitism in the theatre 32
Notes to The Bite of the Night 38
Prologues to The Bite of the Night 40
Honouring the audience 45
The politics beyond the politics 48
The consolations of catastrophe 51
Beauty and terror in the Theatre of Catastrophe 55
Juha Malmivaara's Scenes from an Execution 61
On Nigel Terry's performance of Savage, in The Bite of the Night 63
On watching a performance by life prisoners 65
The offer, the reward, and the need to disappoint 67
The audience, the soul, and the stage 69
The humanist theatre/The catastrophic theatre 71
Theatre without a conscience 72
The deconsecration of meaning in the Theatre of Catastrophe 79
The cult of accessibility and the Theatre of Obscurity 85
A bargain with impossibility: the theatre of moral speculation in an age of accord 91
Recognition as aesthetic paralysis in theatre 109
The theatre lies under a shroud 112
The state of loss as the end of a dramatic performance 116
Two Bradshaws 117
The idea of promiscuity in the Theatre of Catastrophe 119
On the sickness of the audience 124
Eleven building bricks 126
Stages in the education of an audience 128
Relations between an affronted audience and the actor 129
The anatomy of a sob 130
The development of a theory of beauty for the stage 132
Toward a theory of production 133
Barely concealed irritation - a critical encounter 135
On plethora 139
Goya's grin 141
Ignorance and instinct in the Theatre of Catastrophe 144
Why I am no playwright 149
Murders and conversations: the classic text and a contemporary writer 153
What's new ...? 158
Dog on stage 160
The glass confessional: the theatre in hyper-democratic society 161
Disputing Vanya 168
Love in the museum: the modern author and the antique text 171
Creating a death 179
The house of infection: theatre in the age of social hygiene 182
The Play of Seven Days 190
A Dialogue with David Ian Rabey 193
A conversation with Charles Lamb 207
Afterword 223
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