The age of the actor has long gone: we are now in the age of stage effects’
We have moved towards more modernised performances, but this does not necessarily mean ‘the age of the actor has long gone.’ It means audience members now expect more from the performance, rather than just rely on the actor as they did in Elizabethan times. Still in our 21st century, we would not like to go to a play whereby the actors are poor at acting likewise an Elizabethan audience would not like that either. The performance I saw has allowed me to directly compare contemporary theatre to Shakespearian theatre and showed the full limits theatre today can reach. The wide technology and new theatres built on such incredible large scales allow performances to advance to a level beyond anything an Elizabethan audience would have seen. In the contemporary play special effects were used at key scenes which helped emphasis, create an atmosphere, set the scene and mood. This allowed a contemporary audience to fully comprehend and experience the story as if they were going through it with the characters on stage. However in an Shakespearian production characters would be using his voice alone to tell the story with very little special effects to help. In both cases the actors play vital roles, in the contemporary performance its based on acting style, facial expression and voice.. Similarly in a Shakespearian production would also have to ensure his acting techniques were on a big scale, but for a different reason; for example the noises coming from the audience, being quiet before a play was about to start was not the norm in those times, throughout a play ‘dealings’ would be taking place such as fruits being sold or prostitutes looking for work. Actor/Audience relationship is key within modern performances. In contemporary theatre use of eye contact created an intimacy, although the lighting helped us engage with this role as an actor is just as important as it was in Shakespearean...
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