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Blue Raincoat Theatre Company


Rhona Trench

Since its foundation in 1991, Blue Raincoat Theatre Company is Ireland's only full-time venue-based professional theatre ensemble and has become renowned for its movement, visual and aural proficiencies and precision. This book explores those signatures from a number of vantage points, conveying the complex challenges faced by Blue Raincoat as they respond to changing aesthetic and economic circumstances. Particular consideration is given to set, costume, sound and lighting design.

Influenced and informed by renowned international theatre makers such as Étienne Decroux, Jacques Copeau, Roy Hart and Anne Bogart, Blue Raincoat productions are generally non-natural in their sensibility, with a few notable exceptions. Productions such as the stage adaptations of Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman, At Swim Two Birds and The Poor Mouth, Samuel Beckett's Endgame and Eugène Ionesco's The Chairs speak to the artifice of the theatre itself, where actors and designers work collaboratively to reveal the function of the performance. W.B. Yeats's one act ritual dramas demand physical, vocal and technical rigour and flexibility. This book explores the marvellously textured and complex nature of Blue Raincoat's work, revealing the magic that results from their unique style of theatre making.

CONTENTS: Overview - History, Space, Influences, Practices - Curiosities of the Body in Performance - Financing the Theatre: Making a silk purse from a sow’s ear - Sensory Realization and Embodiment in Niall Henry’s mise en scène: Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman (1967) - Visual Strategies and the Comic Body in At Swim Two Birds (1939) - Directing, Set Design and Movement in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame (1957) - Embodying the Invisible Humorously in Eugène Ionesco’s The Chairs (1952) - Ritual, Embodiment and Design in W.B. Yeats At the Hawks Well (1916) and The Cat and the Moon (1926) - The Working Sound Designer and Flann O’Brien’s The Poor Mouth (1941) -  Performing Theatre Sounds and The Poor Mouth - Casting Light on Lighting in Malcolm Hamilton’s The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst (2009).