Artefice in Theatre, TV and Film

I know some things about comics, but I don’t know all that much about Theatre. I’m going to talk about it anyway, which is a risky way to go on.

Theatre aware of the audience. Obviously in a comic, tv or film, the actors can break the fourth wall and address the audience, but only theatre can react to and interact with the audience and commonly makes a feature of its artifice.

The War of the Worlds at The Northern Stage and also at The Exchange in North Shields later this summer directly acknowledges the audience, and I would like to know more about how this ties in with the chilling last lines in the play.

Some other things i’ve seen which I think a lot about:

The clip below is from The Table, by Blind Summit which showed at The Northern Stage early 2014:

And this is from Wildworks show The Beautiful Journey, which invites the audience into the camps and refugee caravans in which the stories take place and join in with the singing and music. It was beautiful.

Bertold Brecht:

Brecht employed the use of techniques that remind the spectator that the play is a representation of reality and not reality itself. By highlighting the constructed nature of the theatrical event, Brecht hoped to communicate that the audience’s reality was equally constructed and, as such, was changeable.

Cinematically, Hal Hartley is the most obvious film maker I can think of whose use of dialogue deliberately draws attention to the fact that it’s being acted. By actors:

In television, The Young Ones and Nightingales are two examples that are close to my heart – as John points out at the previous link, songs and music are also part of this (obvious, looking back in this post, but i’d not made the connection).