By Bertolt Brecht, Elisabeth Hauptmann, Ralph Mannheim, John Willett
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Additional info for Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera)
Paradoxically, given the proliferation of body-based theatre forms over the past three decades, in 2006 there are few UK practitioners and companies within the landscape of physical theatres who would proudly proclaim either to be mimes, or to be representing a practice with that particular description. Even an artist like David Glass who for many years was pleased to describe his work as ‘mime’, or ‘modern mime’, no longer uses the word on his website. Until the early 1990s Jacques Lecoq’s Paris establishment had ‘mime’ as part of its title, but since then has described itself as an ‘International Theatre School’.
The physicality of the theatrical event stands out in the hard, even physically dangerous actions of the players. What Lehmann is suggesting here is that as spectators of Schleef’s work we are taken beyond an experience which is explainable – reducible to the normal discourses of theatrical representation. Here, semiotics is not enough, and Lehmann proposes that: (Lehmann 2006: 97, emphasis added) what the bodies in Schleef’s theatre did when they tested their strength and stamina, naked and drenched in sweat, did not ‘demonstrate’, ‘show’ or ‘communicate’ the presence of a past political catastrophe or the possible future of a thoughtless and unscrupulous sportive, virile military body, but instead manifested all this.
G. Auslander 1997, Birringer 1991, Carlson 1996, Fuchs 1996, Kaye 1994, Lehmann 2006 and Zarrilli 2002). A common starting point for all these writers is that there is no such thing as ‘natural’ acting. All acting is culturally encoded and subject to historical conventions; it is shifting territory, continually to be contested and negotiated: (Pavis 1998: 8) To advocate the natural, the spontaneous and the instinctive is only to produce natural effects, governed by an ideological code that determines, at a particular historical time and for a given audience, what is natural and believable, and what is declamatory and theatrical.