The Presence of the Actor

In the UK, more and more, the theatre process has to deal with actors who are ever more cautious of the next moment.


They strategise its arrival, they prepare for it, they even mistrust it (It may well be like previous moments which were not good moments, or it may be like the horrible moments I have heard about on the grapevine or have seen on TV). The result is that they ensure that the moment, when it arrives, is devoid of spontaneity in their response to it, empty of even the possibility of the emergent gorgeous surprise. The present moment becomes a realised (and often unrealised) strategy. The result for the audience is also predictably boring.


In the moments where the actor reaches out for a word to capture a feeling or experience, as their creative instinct grasps for an inner or outer concept or phrase, they are attacked by a hailstorm of golf-ball sized stones, all alike, all identical, all screaming “Cool! Cool! Cool!”

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