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Picture of Theatre Noise

Theatre Noise

The Sound of Performance

Editor(s): Lynne Kendrick, David Roesner

Book Description

This book is a timely contribution to the emerging field of the aurality of theatre and looks in particular at the interrogation and problematisation of theatre sound(s). Both approaches are represented in the idea of ‘noise’ which we understand both as a concrete sonic entity and a metaphor or theoretical (sometimes even ideological) thrust.

Theatre provides a unique habitat for noise. It is a place where friction can be thematised, explored playfully, even indulged in: friction between signal and receiver, between sound and meaning, between eye and ear, between silence and utterance, between hearing and listening. In an aesthetic world dominated by aesthetic redundancy and ‘aerodynamic’ signs, theatre noise recalls the aesthetic and political power of the grain of performance.

‘Theatre noise’ is a new term which captures a contemporary, agitatory acoustic aesthetic. It expresses the innate theatricality of sound design and performance, articulates the reach of auditory spaces, the art of vocality, the complexity of acts of audience, the political in produced noises. Indeed, one of the key contentions of this book is that noise, in most cases, is to be understood as a plural, as a composite of different noises, as layers or waves of noises. Facing a plethora of possible noises in performance and theatre we sought to collocate a wide range of notions of and approaches to ‘noise’ in this book – by no means an exhaustive list of possible readings and understandings, but a starting point from which scholarship, like sound, could travel in many directions.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-3440-7
ISBN-10: 1-4438-3440-8
Date of Publication: 01/12/2011
Pages / Size: 265 / A5
Price: £39.99


Lynne Kendrick is a Lecturer in Drama at the Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. Lynne is a researcher in theatre practices and processes of performance, including actor training and applied performance. Publications include “A paidic aesthetic: an analysis of games in Philippe Gaulier’s ludic pedagogy” in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Vol 2 (1) London: Routledge 2011, and “Arts and Disability, Disability Arts” in Minorities, eds. Lidstone & Roberts, London: Erasmus Arts and Media, 1996. She also works as a producer and is a founder member and trustee of Camden People’s Theatre, London.

David Roesner is a Senior Lecturer in Drama at the University of Exeter. His research interests include contemporary music theatre, experimental theatre, musicality of theatre. Some of his selected publications are: Theater als Musik. Tübingen: Gunter Narr 2003; Szenische Orte – Mediale Räume (co-edited with Wartemann, G./Wortmann, V.), Hildesheim: Olms 2005; “The politics of the polyphony of performance”, Contemporary Theatre Review, 1/2008, pp. 44-55; “Musicality as a paradigm for the theatre – a kind of manifesto”, Studies in Musical Theatre, Vol 4/3: 2010, pp. 293-306; Composed Theatre (co-edited with Matthias Rebstock). Bristol: Intellect 2011.