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The IKEA Kitchen Sink Dramas: New writing and naturalistic staging?

Recently there have been many revivals of classic 20th century dramas, both British and American, which have questioned and exploded the naturalistic staging that the plays were giving in their original productions. This project will examine the trend that has existed for the last 5-10 years in British theatre of staging new writing within Stanislavskian/Fourth Wall principles. As a group, we will as is this the best way to treat these texts? Has it become a default? What other options does the text present?

In a small group, we will begin by questioning what makes a piece of theatre and question the idea of realism, both in relation to theatre and also to films, books and other forms of media. Between group members we will read a selection of different 21st century texts and then decide on one play to focus our questions on. We will interrogate then begin rehearsals, interrogating the process as we go and questioning our default decisions when presented with a text to stage: do we need props? How could sound enhance the play? Fundamentally, how do we best engage the audience? The project will culminate in some kind of performance of the chosen play.

Eleanor Horne

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