By David Barnett
David Barnett invitations readers, scholars and theatre-makers to find new methods of apprehending and utilising Brecht during this transparent and available learn of Brecht's theories and practices. The publication analyses how Brecht's principles can come alive in practice session and function, and divulges simply how rigorously Brecht discovered his imaginative and prescient of a politicized, interventionist theatre.
What emerges is a nuanced figuring out of Brecht's thoughts, his paintings with actors and his methods to directing. The reader is inspired to interact together with his strategy which sought to 'make theatre politically', in an effort to take pleasure in the thoughts he brought into his stagecraft. Barnett presents many examples of ways Brecht's principles will be staged, and the ultimate bankruptcy takes a better examine very assorted performs: one written by means of Brecht and one by means of a playwright without stated connection to Brecht. via an interrogation of The Resistible upward thrust of Arturo Ui and Patrick Marber's Closer, Barnett asks how a Brechtian method can brighten up and remove darkness from production.
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Extra resources for Brecht in Practice: Theatre, Theory and Performance
This is an important discrepancy, born of Brecht’s desire to bring dialectics into the theatre. ’. Learning takes place when the audience develops a new way of understanding the world as dialectical. Revealing the Radical Theorist 31 The philosophical framework Brecht employs is based on contradictions and is designed to provoke an unequivocal response in the audience, as he puts it: the ‘attitude is a critical one’ (Organon §22). Spectators are expected to be active when they process the material on stage because the stage does not offer answers to dialectically posed questions.
The possibilities of performing theory The dialogue fragments of Buying Brass suggest the possibility of performance. The Berliner Ensemble was the first company to attempt a production in 1963 and set about editing the many drafts, scenes and fragments found in the Brecht Archive into a workable evening-long show. The company’s management initially assumed that the piece was likely to be a low-key affair, only attracting those with a curiosity about Brecht’s theories. Instead, the show proved so engaging that it ran for 100 performances over seven years, with changes made to the material performed during its lengthy run in a process of sustained, critical revision.
It should be noted, however, that the results of such changes are also marked by contradictory responses, to which, in turn, new solutions are to be found. For example, the campaign in 2013 to make Jane Austen’s the image on a British ten pound note was successful. This reflects a degree of female self-confidence and an environment accepting of women’s achievements that may not have been present a hundred years earlier. On the other hand, the amount of vitriol and sexist abuse aimed at the leaders of the campaign betrays that fact that equal rights have not been greeted positively by everyone and continue to provoke the most unpleasant of responses.