A practical investigation into the relationship between physical movement and spoken text in performance, with an analysis of how this relationship can affect the reception of the work for the spectator.
This dissertation explores the creation of physical movement and spoken text within a collaborative devising context, and the differences in spectator response of physical performance which does and does not include the spoken text layer. Adding to the discussion of ‘hybrid’ forms of theatre, this study takes inspiration from the dance and dance-theatre realms. More specifically, this research addresses the conflicts between movement and voice within post-dramatic physical performance, focusing on the notion that physical theatre aims to break down the text based structures of traditional theatre. The practical element of this study aims to explore the creation of physical theatre and spoken text in a collaborative devising environment. Using Frantic Assembly as the main practitioner for the practical investigation, the rehearsals shed light on somatic creation and the challenges of adding spoken text to physical movement. The analysis of spectator responses aims to highlight new knowledge on how the addition of a spoken text layer changes the experience of watching physical movement. The information collected with regards to spectator responses aids in encouraging practitioners to be aware of the spectator experience when devising physical or dance works with spoken word. The study concludes with a summary of the findings of the audience responses in relation to the practical work presented, and suggests further lines of research deriving from the reflections and new insights discovered.