How Has Physical Theatre Changed Over Time Essay

1894 Words Nov 4th, 2014 8 Pages
How has physical theatre developed over time?
Physical theatre is a form of performance where movement and physicality of the body has the main part within a performance. There are several quite distinct traditions of performance which all describe themselves using the term "physical theatre", which has led to a lot of confusion as to what the definition of physical theatre actually is. The term physical theatre has been applied to performances consisting mainly of mime, contemporary dance, theatrical clowning and other physical comedy (such as slapstick), puppetry and mask work and theatrical acrobatics and lifts. One of the early practitioners of physical theatre was Artaud. His ideas included total theatre, wherein actors appeal to all
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The development of English pantomime was strongly influenced by commedia dell'arte. This was a "comedy of professional artists" travelling from province to province in Italy and then France, who improvised and told comic stories that held lessons for the crowd, changing the main character depending on where they were performing. Pantomime mainly incorperated song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick, cross-dressing, in-jokes, topical references, audience participation, and mild sexual innuendo. The general movement within Pantomime creates physical theatre as the storyline is presented to the audience mainly through lifts, dance and slapstick, although performers also use their voice throughout.
The Theatre of the Absurd is the name for particular plays of absurdist fiction written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1950s, as well as one for the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Their work expressed what happens when human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down, alerting their audiences to pursue the opposite. The Absurd in these plays takes the form of man’s reaction to a world apparently without meaning, and/or man as a puppet controlled or menaced by invisible outside forces. Theatre of the Absurd consisted of horrific or tragic images; characters caught in