Theatre in the Dark: Shadow, Gloom and Blackout in Contemporary Theatre

Alston, Adam and Welton, Martin, eds. 2017. Theatre in the Dark: Shadow, Gloom and Blackout in Contemporary Theatre. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781474251181 [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

Theatre in the Dark: Shadow, Gloom and Blackout in Contemporary Theatre responds to a rising tide of experimentation in theatre practice that eliminates or obscures light. It brings together leading and emerging practitioners and researchers in a volume dedicated to exploring the phenomenon and showcasing a range of possible critical and theoretical approaches.

This book considers the aesthetics and phenomenology of dark, gloomy and shadow-strewn theatre performances, as well as the historical and cultural significances of darkness, shadow and the night in theatre and performance contexts. It is concerned as much with the experiences elicited by darkness and obscured or diminished lighting as it is with the conditions that define, frame and at times re-shape what each might 'mean' and 'do'.

Contributors provide surveys of relevant practice, interviews with practitioners, theoretical reflections and close critical analyses of work by key innovators in the aesthetics of light, shadow and darkness. The book has a particular focus on the work of contemporary theatre makers – including Sound&Fury, David Rosenberg and Glen Neath, Lundahl & Seitl, Extant, and Analogue – and seeks to deepen the engagement of theatre and performance studies with what might be called 'the sensory turn'. Theatre in the Dark explores ground-breaking areas that will appeal to researchers, practitioners and audiences alike.

Item Type:

Edited Book

Identification Number (DOI):


darkness; theatre in the dark; theatre lighting; scenography

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


27 July 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2020 11:28

Last Modified:

28 Jan 2020 15:21


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