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A Production Design For The Play Oedipus Rex By Sophoclese With The Ideas Of Artaud.

1559 words - 6 pages

Oedipus Rex is a classic Greek play, fitting the Aristotelian mould of tragedy. In my production of this piece, I would like to set it in a post-apocalyptic, futuristic stetting. In doing this, I would like to draw parallels between modern audiences and the original role of the audience for which the play was written.I am also incorporating the ideas of Artaud, namely his target of Theatre of Cruelty;'Theatre will never be itself again, that is to say will never be able to form truly illusive means, unless it provides the audience with truthful distillations of dreams where its taste for crime, its erotic obsessions, its savageness, its fantasises, its utopian sense of life and objects, even its cannibalism, do not gush out on an illusory make-believe, but on an inner level.'I feel his focus on creating the conditions for the audience to revel in taboo subjects and break with the passive nature of the modern audience could be harnessed within this production. Ideally, I would produce the piece in the Cottesloe theatre, within the National Theatre complex.I have designed a publicity flyer for my production (appendix 1) The red within it links with the colour themes I have chosen, and create an immediate focus on the eyes of the characters and the inclusion of the actors playing Jocasta and Oedipus means they are linked in the minds of the audience before the play starts. Within the frame of performance as a whole, what happens before the performance begins is often negated in its sign generating potential, but I intend to consciously use my choice of publicity and venue to encode expectations for the audience.My set (appendix 2) takes inspiration from the traditional Greek/ Roman amphitheatre. Amphitheatres were social centres, visible from across cities, and it is a resonance with this that has shaped my vision for the seating, and the venue choice for this production. The National Theatre is a world famous centre, and attracts some of the top name British and international actors, and consequently is often sold out. The combining of three theatres in one administrative space means that, come show time, the foyer is bustling with people. The inclusion of a café and bookshop within the building echoes the original amphitheatres role as a place to relax and exchange views.The National Theatre's location, on the south bank both creates and reinforces its status as an icon of the arts due to 'artistic' connotations of the area (There are numerous high profile art galleries, The NFT and the Globe theatre, all within walking distance)It is also of note that this venue stereotypically attracts white, middle class bourgeois theatre goers, a category of audience that Artaud found particularly abhorrent, and wished to break down.The seating is arranged to recreate the feel of an amphitheatre, with thrust staging and tiers on which the audience sit, with no reserved seating. I have created the first tier to be used by the Thebean Senators, who shall...

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