Acting to Actuality The impact of the ludic on performer training

Kendrick, Lynne. 2010. Acting to Actuality The impact of the ludic on performer training. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis argues that the impact of the ludic on performer training can be analysed
by the application of play theory. Theories of play are apt for analysis of the
emergence of ludic performance practices, in particular how the ludic functions as a
basis for training for these. This thesis analyses the ludic practices in the postLecoquian
performer training of Philippe Gaulier, John Wright and Jon Davison and
focuses specifically on the workshop. Their respective techniques are infiltrating
performer training in the UK and as a consequence the activities and languages of
play are becoming accepted, yet there is little analysis or understanding of how
these ludic practices function. The research questions for this thesis ask what is the
ludic and what are its potential intersections with performance analysis? What is the
interplay between ludus (structure) and the paidic (free)? And what is the relation
between play and actuality? To respond to the first question I provide an overview of
the scope of play theory in particular its relation to cultural theory, performance
analysis and the paradigm of Performance Studies and I isolate a methodology
based on Roger Caillois' play theory of ludus and paidia. This methodolqgy is
formed in order to address the second thesis question and to explore how the ludic
interplay between structure and freedom functions in performer training. I use
Caillois' continuum of ludus/paidia to analyse the ludicity of Gaulier, Wright and
Davison's respective techniques as manifested in the workshop format and I
propose that the result of this analysis reveals a paidic aesthetic of training and
performing. 'Acting to actuality' refers to the development of training from
representative to presentative performance in which realism and modes of realistic
performance are eschewed for the reality of the presence of the performer and the
activities in which the performer is engaged. This thesis also explores the function of
the ludic in this shift, particularly in relation to the emergence of clown performance
and argues that a paidic aesthetic produces an actual, not an acted, performance

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Dec 2014 14:22

Last Modified:

06 Sep 2022 22:10


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