aWhen Artaud first mooted the term Theatre of Cruelty, he was talking about actors being cruel to themselves – stretching the imagination until near breaking point, challenging the body to complete extreme moves –pushing the physical boundaries to extremes – the body must go beyond exhaustion into a trance-like state where it no longer feels exhaustion or its pain and can thus achieve extraordinary things. He wants to actor to wake his own double (his dream self, his psyche) The audience must have their double aroused by experiencing theatre that jolts them into emotional and awed spiritual responses. We must always do things in extremes. Artaud states that there is nothing like rhythm for getting under the skin of the audience. Artaud desires a direct physical appeal that bypasses the brain. His intention is to affect the audience in a very particular way ‘bring them back to their primitive responses’. He wants to move back to the ancient forms of theatre, religion, ritual, music, drumming. IN PAIRS – students work out a clapping rhythm. They then label themselves A and B. Eyes shut. All the A’s are then taken and placed in a line. B’s are placed in another line (but not behind their partner). The first A claps their rhythm. They keep clapping until their B recognises the rhythm and claps along. They stop and then the next A claps etc … 2.
Then all the students are spread (eyes shut) around the room. They have to find their partner by just clapping the rhythm and listening for their partner clapping …. 3.
Stand in a circle. One person starts a rhythm, using both hands and feet which everyone copies. Once it is established the tutor picks a new student to start a new rhythm …Once this is established students must then work to all start and stop at the same time without verbal contact and then build the volume from quiet to loud etc. without verbal contact. In small groups, a simple domestic scene is devised (maybe a daughter comes home late and is confronted by...
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