Liveness on Stage: Intermedial Challenges in Contemporary British Theatre and Performance
Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2014.
ISBN 978-3-11-034653-4, 274 pp., hardb., € 109,95 (2014)
Theatre is traditionally considered a live medium but its ‚liveness‘ can no longer simply be taken for granted in view of the increasing mediatisation of the stage.
Drawing on theories of intermediality, Liveness on Stage explores how performances that incorporate film or video self-reflexively stage and challenge their own liveness by contrasting or approximating live and mediatised action. To illustrate this, the monograph investigates key aspects such as ‘ephemerality’, ‘co-presence’, ‘unpredictability’, ‘interaction’ and ‘realistic representation’ and highlights their significance for re-evaluating received notions of liveness. The analysis is based on productions by Gob Squad, Forkbeard Fantasy, Station House Opera, Proto-type Theater, Tim Etchells and Mary Oliver. In their playful approaches these practitioners predominantly present such media combination as a means of cross-fertilisation rather than as an antagonism between liveness and mediatisation.
Combining an original theoretical approach with an in-depth analysis of the selected productions, this study will appeal to scholars and practitioners of theatre and performance as well as to those researching intermedial phenomena.