The article focuses on a one-act play Tom Stoppard wrote in 1968, when performance art experiments, mainly aimed at converting the ‘passive’ role of the audience into an (inter)active participation, were being undertaken in British theatres. "The Real Inspector Hound" is not an experimental play – it might actually be seen as a parody of those experiments – but is likewise centred on the role and agency of the audience and on the performative nature of role-playing. This article inspects the way in which even a ‘traditional’ piece like this, by offering the possibility to investigate some of the questions posed only metaphorically elsewhere, can provide a productive insight into the mechanisms by which we (both ‘performers’ and ‘spectators’ in our life) can ‘act’ upon reality and can ‘be acted’ upon. Performativity, in the sense provided by the theoretical framework of poststructuralism, is actually brought to the fore in the play when the iterativity inherent in the pre-scripted roles of the characters and of the audience comes to be interrupted, and questioned, by the emergence of a chaotic and parodic anti-conventionality.

Esposito, L. (2014). Playing with the Audience: Performative Interactions in Tom Stoppard’s "The Real Inspector Hound”. ANGLISTICA AION AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL, 18(1), 31-41.

Playing with the Audience: Performative Interactions in Tom Stoppard’s "The Real Inspector Hound”

ESPOSITO, Lucia
2014

Abstract

The article focuses on a one-act play Tom Stoppard wrote in 1968, when performance art experiments, mainly aimed at converting the ‘passive’ role of the audience into an (inter)active participation, were being undertaken in British theatres. "The Real Inspector Hound" is not an experimental play – it might actually be seen as a parody of those experiments – but is likewise centred on the role and agency of the audience and on the performative nature of role-playing. This article inspects the way in which even a ‘traditional’ piece like this, by offering the possibility to investigate some of the questions posed only metaphorically elsewhere, can provide a productive insight into the mechanisms by which we (both ‘performers’ and ‘spectators’ in our life) can ‘act’ upon reality and can ‘be acted’ upon. Performativity, in the sense provided by the theoretical framework of poststructuralism, is actually brought to the fore in the play when the iterativity inherent in the pre-scripted roles of the characters and of the audience comes to be interrupted, and questioned, by the emergence of a chaotic and parodic anti-conventionality.
Esposito, L. (2014). Playing with the Audience: Performative Interactions in Tom Stoppard’s "The Real Inspector Hound”. ANGLISTICA AION AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL, 18(1), 31-41.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/412780
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