By Meg Mumford

    Routledge functionality Practitioners is a chain of introductory publications to the major theatre-makers of the final century. each one quantity explains the historical past to and the paintings of 1 of the main impacts on 20th- and twenty-first-century functionality. Bertolt Brecht is among the world’s so much profound members to the idea and perform of theatre. His equipment of collective experimentation and his specified framing of the theatrical occasion as a discussion board for classy and political switch proceed to have an important effect at the paintings of functionality practitioners, critics and lecturers alike. this is often the 1st publication to mix:  an review of the major sessions in Brecht's lifestyles and paintings a transparent clarification of his key theories, together with the well known principles of Gestus and Verfremdung an account of his groundbreaking 1954 creation of The Caucasian Chalk Circle an in-depth research of Brecht's sensible workouts and practice session tools As a primary step in the direction of serious figuring out, and as an preliminary exploration sooner than occurring to extra, fundamental learn, Routledge functionality Practitioners are unbeatable worth for today’s scholar. Meg Mumford is a lecturer in Theatre and function experiences on the collage of latest South Wales, Australia. She has released greatly near to Brecht’s theatre and modern appropriations of his concept and perform.

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Through the actor-cum-commentator, or ‘spectActor’ as it will be referred to, Brecht also found a way of reminding audience members that they, too, are capable of conscious intervention. Marxist analyses of capitalism and class struggle clarified for Brecht the possibility of positive intervention against social injustice. Marx located capitalism as the most recent but by no means final mode of production; one dominated by the creation and private ownership of capital by the bourgeoisie. He argued that the class struggle between capitalists and exploited proletariat would culminate in a revolution and the emergence of a workers’ state.

It would be sixteen years before Brecht returned to live again in Germany. ON THE RUN: EXILE IN EUROPE AND AMERICA (1933–47) FIGHTING THE FEAR AND MISERY OF FASCISM For Brecht’s family, and many of their friends and collaborators, the long exile years were a period of financial deprivation, isolation and uncertainty. Brecht’s experience of the trauma of exile and fascism is movingly expressed in his poem ‘To those Born Later’ (c. 1937–9): You who will emerge from the flood In which we have gone under Remember When you speak of our failings The dark time too Which you have escaped.

Brecht waged a long and unresolved struggle with some of these contemporaneous issues during the copious rewriting and staging of Man is Man. Ideas for a play about human identity date back to 1918, but it was not until the formation of the so-called ‘Brecht collective’ in the mid-1920s – an ever-changing team of artistic collaborators – that the title and overall shape emerged. The version of the grotesque comedy that was premiered in September 1926 uses the image of a trained fighter (a soldier) to explore the malleable nature of man and his exchangeability.

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