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Comedies are often filled with witty remarks, unusual characters, and strange circumstances. Certain comedies are geared toward different age groups. Comedies were one of the two original play types of Ancient Greece , along with tragedies.
A generally nonsensical genre of play, farces are often acted and often involve humor. A satire play takes a comic look at current events people while at the same time attempting to make a political or social statement, for example pointing out corruption. Satire plays are generally one of the most popular forms of comedy, and often considered to be their own genre entirely. However, since restoration comedy dealt with unspoken aspects of relationships, it created a type of connection between audience and performance that was more informal and private.
This may give clues as to why, despite its original success, restoration comedy did not last long in the seventeenth century. However, in recent years, it has become a topic of interest for theatre theorists, who have been looking into theatre styles that have their own conventions of performance.
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These plays contain darker themes such as death and disaster. Often the protagonist of the play has a tragic flaw , a trait which leads to their downfall. Tragic plays convey all emotions and have very dramatic conflicts. Tragedy was one of the two original play types of Ancient Greece.
These plays focus on actual historical events.
They can be tragedies or comedies, but are often neither of these. History as a separate genre was popularized by William Shakespeare.
Ballad opera, a popular theatre style at the time, was the first style of musical to be performed in the American colonies. Modern Western musical theatre emerged in the Victorian era, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America. Around the s, theatre styles were beginning to be defined more clearly.
For musical theatre, this meant that composers gained the right to create every song in the play, and these new plays were held to more specific conventions, such as thirty-two-bar songs. When the Great Depression came, many people left Broadway for Hollywood, and the atmosphere of Broadway musicals changed significantly. A similar situation occurred during the s, when composers were scarce and musicals lacked vibrancy and entertainment value.
By the s, there were very few original Broadway musicals, as many were recreations of movies or novels. Musical productions have songs to help explain the story and move the ideas of the play along. They are usually accompanied by dancing. Musicals can be very elaborate in settings and actor performances. Examples of musical productions include Wicked and Fiddler on the Roof. Above all, Artaud did not trust language as a means of communication.
Plays within the genre of theatre of cruelty are abstract in convention and content. Artaud wanted his plays to have an effect and accomplish something.
His intention was to symbolise the subconscious through bodily performances, as he did not believe language could be effective. Artaud considered his plays to be an enactment rather than a re-enactment, which meant he believed his actors were in reality, rather than re-enacting reality. His plays dealt with heavy issues such as patients in psych wards, and Nazi Germany. Much of his work was banned in France at the time.
Artaud did not believe that conventional theatre of the time would allow the audience to have a cathartic experience and help heal the wounds of World War II. For this reason, he moved towards radio-based theatre, in which the audience could use their imagination to connect the words they were hearing to their body. This made his work much more personal and individualized, which he believed would increase the effectiveness of portraying suffering.
Theatre of the Absurd: This genre generally includes metaphysical representations of existential qualms and questions. Theatre of the absurd denies rationality, and embraces the inevitability of falling into the abyss of the human condition. Instead of discussing these issues, however, theatre of the absurd is a demonstration of them. This leaves the audience to discuss and question the content of the play for themselves. One of the main aspects of theatre of the absurd is the physical contradiction to language.
Oftentimes, the dialogue between characters will directly oppose their actions. The term "play" can be either a general term, or more specifically refer to a non-musical play. Sometimes the term "straight play" is used in contrast to " musical ", which refers to a play based on music , dance , and songs sung by the play's characters. For a short play, the term "playlet" is sometimes used.
The term "script" refers to the written text of the play. After the front matter , such as title and author, it conventionally begins with a dramatis personae : a list presenting each of the main characters of the play by name, followed by a brief characterization e. For a musical play opera , light opera , or musical the term " libretto " is commonly used, instead of "script".
Arthur Darvill is a master of physicality, playing Oscar the nervous nerd to his fingertips, and Martin Marquez is a treat as egocentric yet kindly matinee idol Vittorio Vidal. Sweet Charity is on at Donmar Warehouse until 8th June. More info and tickets here.
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