Theatre's immediacy: notes on performing 'with' Žižek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter critically reflects on a production of Anthony Neilson's Normal (directed by the author in July 2012) to explicate the ways in which vZivzek's philosophical writings were useful in and pertinent to rehearsals; it examines moments in which the play in performance adhered to and/or corresponded with that philosophical work, and also how it pushed back against it in various ways. The author challenges the orthodoxy that performance (and live art) is somehow more immediate textendash more real textendash than theatre. The essay employs vZivzek's work to challenge the hierarchized 'performance versus theatre' binary by relating his theories of the oscillation of the real and virtual to the author's own theory of 'mimetic shimmering' (2013), and to an analysis of the various theatrical devices used in the production of Normal to facilitate such an oscillation in performance. The intention is to push back against the way that performance theory often under theorizes what constitutes a real event.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationŽižek and Performance
EditorsBroderick Chow, Alex Mangold
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9781137403193
ISBN (Print)9781137410900, 9781349489138
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePerformance Philosophy
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan

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