The Active Text: Unlocking Plays Through Physical Theatre Book Cover The Active Text: Unlocking Plays Through Physical Theatre
Dymphna Callery
Nick Hern Books

Nick Hern books have released a new book by Dymphna Callery, author of the best-selling Through The Body. The author looks at how physical theatre exercises, games and rehearsal techniques can be applied to scripted plays.

She pulls together approaches from a wide range of practitioners including Jacques Lecoq, Joan Littlewood, Peter Brook and Simon McBurney. Using extracts from well-known texts ranging from Sophocles through Shakespeare to Brecht and Berkoff she introduces theatre games, improvisation exercises and rehearsal techniques which will appeal to performance directors, students and anybody else involved in presenting and exploring physical theatre.

The book begins by exploring how a range of play genres can respond to a physical approach. It looks at why and how we can ask performers to play, mapping a play, charting the journeys of characters, workshopping scenes, exploring the text and shaping the production.

Callery usefully pulls together a wide range of approaches, some of which will be familiar to actors and directors and others which may be new. The processes are explained clearly alongside captivating examples of their use. If you are inspired or intrigued by the work of companies such as Complicite, Kneehigh, Frantic Assembly and the approaches of theatre practitioners such as Annabelle Arden, John Wright, Declan Donellan, Sam Mendes, Berkoff and Brook then this book will have you dipping into it time and time again for its no-nonsense practical perspective.

Go here to download a PDF extract.