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Which clippings match 'Astonishment' keyword pg.1 of 1
07 NOVEMBER 2014

Let's stop pretending that theatre can't be captured on screen

"I recall a Punch cartoon of the late 1950s showing two moviegoers gazing in astonishment at the latest 3D spectacle. 'Next thing,' one of them remarked, 'they'll be having real people up there.' But we are now in an era when the gap between film and theatre, thanks to sophisticated technology, is constantly narrowing. I went this week to a preview of Digital Theatre's screen version of Richard Eyre's Almeida production of Ibsen's Ghosts: I can only say that it offered an experience comparable to that I had in the theatre. I'd also recommend everyone to see it when it's shown in 200 cinemas across the UK and Ireland on 26 June.

It's not quite the same as National Theatre Live, where cinemagoers vicariously attend a single performance. Digital's Ghosts, I'm told, was shot over three successive evenings during the show's run at the Trafalgar Studios. But, whatever the process, the result is to democratise theatre. It's not just that the performance can be seen worldwide. The key point is that everyone now has the best seat in the house."

(Michael Billington, 18 June 2014)

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TAGS

1950s20143D effect • acclaimed productions • Almeida Theatre • astonishment • captured on screen • digital theatre • Digital Theatre Ltd • embodied experience • filmed production • Ghosts (Henrik Ibsen) • global online audience • Henrik Ibsen • high-definition technology • in the round • live performance captured authentically onscreen • live performance on cinema screens • live theatre • moviegoer • multiple camera angles • National Theatre Live • Punch (cartoon)real people • Richard Eyre • screen version • sophisticated technology • theatre companies • theatre is an irreducible experience • viewing experiencevisceral experiencevisual spectacle

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 FEBRUARY 2006

Spectacle as Show: not an inferior part of tragedy

"In a brief but suggestive passage from his Ten Books on Architecture, Leone Battista Alberti, the fifteenth–century Renaissance poet, philosopher, and architect, sets public performance into a frame of social exchange. His subject being architecture, he arrives in his eighth book at the point of discussing 'Places for publick Shows.' ...

In placing the Actor within the wider category of public shows, Alberti reminds us of the organic connections among all forms of performance. He is at the opposite pole from Aristotle who considered drama a branch of literary art. What Alberti identifies as Show, Aristotle catalogued as an inferior part of tradegy: spectacle. Alberti's practice coincided with and reinforced the practice of his contemporaries and successors. Until the renaissance, most of these were rhetoricians. Their five parts of rhetoric–the number into which the subject was most frequently divided–included delivery. Here, it would seem, was an opportunity to discuss public performance since delivery concerned the manner of speaking. But quite contrary. Writing on delivery illustrates the conventional and persistent subordination of the event of speaking to the composition of speech. So prevalent was this way of ordering the parts of rhetoric and poetics that rare indeed was the person who conceived of performance as an independent entity."
(Bernard Beckerman, 1990)

Beckerman, Bernard. 1990 p.Prologue X. Theatratical Presentation, New York, USA: Routledge.

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TAGS

aesthetic spectacleamazementarchitectureAristotleastonishmentawe • Bernard Beckerman • curiositydramaemotional immersionEuropean Renaissanceexhilarating experienceLeon Battista Alberti • marvel • narrativeorderingperformance • performance spectacle • Places for publick Shows • Poeticspublic shows • puzzlement • rhetoricshockshow (spectacle)social exchangespacespectaclesurprise • Ten Books on Architecture • theatretragedy • wonder • wonderment
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