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How Crimp's Open Texts help keep live performance a 'Cool' medium (McLuhan) for audiences.

Moss, Tim (2005) How Crimp's Open Texts help keep live performance a 'Cool' medium (McLuhan) for audiences. In: FIRT/IFTR International Conference Fictional/Real in Contemporary Theatre, 17 - 20 November 2005, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. (Unpublished)

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Martin Crimp’s open texts (writerly texts - Barthes) Attempts on her Life, Face to the Wall and Fewer Emergencies have posed theatrical challenges to both theatre makers and spectators alike over the last eight years. The texts blur the division between fictionality and reality: onstage personas aggressively contradict each others’ descriptions (to the audience) of the central yet absent main protagonist (Attempts on her Life); a performer is unsure of the sequence of events he is supposed to be relating and is corrected by another, who is absent from the frame of the first performer's theatrical world (Face to the Wall); there are no fictional characters present on stage, only opinions and unreliable narrators.

Implicit in these texts is the need for a working relationship to be developed between the performance and the audience that goes beyond that expected by spectators of dramatic theatre; the audience are complicit in the event because their presence seems to them to have altered the rules of the performance.

Crimp has encoded in his writerly texts the notion that one theatrical form will not be enough to realise the totality of the information contained therein. The need for diverse performance modes means that the final performance can never be totally removed from the reality of its attempt to manufacture itself onstage.

In this paper I will explore Crimp’s methods of creating his fictional/real performance dimension and look at performances of his work as case studies, with reference to Marco de Marinis' definition of and questioning of the 'openness' of text and the concept of the 'Model Spectator'.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Postdramatic Text; Martin Crimp
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
School of Music, Humanities and Media > Drama Research Group
Related URLs:
References: Barthes, R. [1970] 1975: S/Z (trans. R. Miller). London: Cape Crimp, Martin 1997. Attempts on her Life London: Faber and Faber Crimp, Martin 2002. Face to the Wall London: Faber and Faber De Marinis, Marco 1993. The Semiotics of Performance Indiana: Indiana University Press Etchells, Tim 2004. accessed 7th December 2004, updated 6th Feb 2006 Gardner, Lyn Saturday March 16, 2002 The Guardian Newspaper Manchester Hawkes, T. 1977: Structuralism and Semiotics. London: Routledge Koltes, Bernard-Marie 1997. Plays 1 London: Methuen Kustow, Michael 2000. theatre@risk London: Methuen McLuhan, Marshall 2001. Understanding Media London: Routledge Miller, Arthur, 1968. The Crucible London: Penguin Saunders, Graham 2002. 'Love me or kill me: Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes Manchester: Manchester University Press
Depositing User: Tim Moss
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2009 14:33
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 23:05


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