Beyond Immersive Theatre: Aesthetics, Politics and Productive Participation

Alston, Adam. 2016. Beyond Immersive Theatre: Aesthetics, Politics and Productive Participation. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137480446 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Immersive theatre currently enjoys ubiquity, popularity and recognition in theatre journalism and scholarship. However, the politics of immersive theatre aesthetics still lacks a substantial critique. Does immersive theatre model a particular kind of politics, or a particular kind of audience? What’s involved in the production and consumption of immersive theatre aesthetics? Is a productive audience always an empowered audience? And do the terms of an audience’s empowerment stand up to political scrutiny?
Beyond Immersive Theatre contextualises these questions by tracing the evolution of neoliberal politics and the experience economy over the past four decades. Through detailed critical analyses of work by Ray Lee, Lundahl & Seitl, Punchdrunk, shunt, Theatre Delicatessen and Half Cut, Adam Alston argues that there is a tacit politics to immersive theatre aesthetics – a tacit politics that is illuminated by neoliberalism, and that is ripe to be challenged by the evolution and diversification of immersive theatre.

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immersive theatre; Punchdrunk; neoliberalism; productivism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


May 2016

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Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2020 10:57

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2021 16:14


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