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Clowning in the Brechtian tradition\ud

By Daniel Neil Bye


This thesis examines how far clowning can be used to augment the aims and effects of a Brechtian theatricality. To do so, it first establishes a series of characteristic processes for the identification and analysis of clowning, based on the author's own clown training with John Wright and Philippe Gaulier. It then explores the nature of Brecht's interest in the clowns Charlie Chaplin and Karl Valentin and their influence on his thinking. Next, it\ud examines how far Brecht's interest in clowns and clowning can be seen inscribed in the texts of his plays and how far that clowning enables the aims of his theatre to be realised. Then it looks at a specific example of Brecht production, the author's production of Mr Puntila and His Man Matti, to examine how far what has been seen in theory in fact works in practice. And finally, it moves beyond Brecht but remains in the Brechtian tradition, by examining the show Can of Worms, directed by the author for Strange\ud Bedfellows theatre company and asking how far a pure clown show can achieve Brechtian effects.\ud \ud \ud Throughout, the thesis is concerned to establish how far the specific incidences of clowning examined accord with particular effects of the Brechtian theatre, most significantly Gestus,d ialectics and the VerfremdungseffekItt. concludest hat clowning is a form particularly well suited to the pursuit of these processes

Publisher: Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds)
Year: 2008
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