Summer 1969 • Vol. XXXI No. 3 Nonfiction |

The London Theater: A Devaluation

From the first moment the spectators enter the auditorium, it is obvious that they are going to witness something unusual. The acting space is not the ordinary proscenium stage but a large circular expanse resembling a dance floor or circus ring. Except for several long platforms, this space is bare. The seating arrangement is equally unconventional: the audience has to decide whether to perch on folding chairs or stools or benches a safe distance from the acting area or whether to climb up on high movable scaffoldings near the edge of the circle. Moreover, the actors (young professionals from France, England, America, and Japan) are all outside in the auditorium, warming up for the performance—vocalizing, exercising, tossing a ball or chatting with the audience. After the auditorium is packed with spectators and performers, each busily doing his own thing (or simply watching others doing their own things), the actors harmonize into a single chant and move onto a platform in t

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