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The Second Birth of Theatre

Performances of Anglo-Saxon Monks


Mirosław Kocur

This book presents a new approach to early English theatre by exposing a genuine relationship between monastic performances and theatricality. It argues that modern theatre was reinvented in Anglo-Saxon monasteries by monks who were required to transform themselves by disciplining their bodies and performing complex religious acts. After extensively surveying the monastic and liturgical sources of theatre the author reconstructs the XII-century staging of the Anglo-Norman «Ordo representacionis Ade» and demonstrates the fundamental incongruity between the ancient and Christian performativity. On a more personal note he concludes with comments on references to the monastic rule in «Performer», a programmatic text by Jerzy Grotowski.

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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Kocur, Mirosław, 1955- author.Title: The second birth of theatre : performances of Anglo-Saxon monks / Mirosław Kocur.Description: Frankfurt am Main ; New York : Peter Lang Edition, 2017. | Series: Interdisciplinary studies in performance ; vol. 8 | Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2016054389 | ISBN 9783631679128Subjects: LCSH: Catholic Church—England—Liturgy—History--To 1500. | Ritual— England—History—To 1500. | Liturgy and drama—History—To 1500. | Liturgical drama— England. | Performance—Religious aspects—Christianity—History—To 1500. | England— Church history—Middle Ages, 600-1500. | Monasticism and religious orders—History— Middle Ages, 600-1500.Classification: LCC BX1973 .K63 2017 | DDC 271.00942/09021—dc23 LC record available at

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