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The Gift of Play: Ubung and the Secret signal of Gesture.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Published

Publication date2006
Host publicationContemporary Theatres in Europe: a Critical Companion
PublisherRoutledge
Number of pages149
ISBN (Print)9780415329408
Original languageEnglish

Bibliographic note

The chapter in this book explores theoretical and historical conceptualisations of play in relation to the writings of Walter Benjamin. With specific reference to Victoria Theatre's (Belgium) work with children, it explore how Benjamin's thinking on gesture not only produces a profound insight as to how we might analyse children's theatre, but also as to the political and cultural significance of such practice and how it differs from adult theatrical activity. This research investigaes the field of play and theatre by grounding the complex theoretical thinking of Benjamin, Kafka, Agamben and Kristeva within a particular practical framework. The originality of this work lies not only in the fact that it is one of the few critical works to deal with the work of Victoria Theatre, but also in its attempt to clarify and extend the often opaque philosophical approaches of a number of theorists who are becoming increasingly important to the field of Performance Studies. This essay is based on a commissioned contribution made for Marathon Lexicon (2003) curated by Tim Etchells of Forced Entertainment and Adrian Heathfield, which toured internationally in 2003-2005. Parts of the essay were also included in a keynote address on play at the London International Festival of Theatre's (LIFT) conference 'Why do we Play?', held at the Roundhouse in London in 2004. This essay is published on the LIFT website. RAE_import_type : Chapter in book RAE_uoa_type : LICA