It is in the irony of things that the theatre should be the most dangerous place for the actor. But, then, after all, the world is the worst possible place, the most corrupting place, for the human soul. And just as there is no escape from the world, which follows us into the very heart of the desert, so the actor cannot escape the theatre. And the actor who is a dreamer need not. All of us can only strive to remain uncontaminated. In the world we must be unworldly, in the theatre the actor must be untheatrical.
The theatre, when all is said and done, is not life in miniature, but life enormously magnified, life hideously exaggerated.
Applause begets applause in the theatre, as laughter begets laughter and tears beget tears.
Two strongly influential movements--naturalism and absurdism--have polarized western theatre, arguing respectively for a tidy global perspective of human behavior or for an idiosyncratic local vision, in which ultimately no human behavioral patterns can be abstracted. One is left to choose between existence represented as strict linear determinism or as utter randomness.
Theatre is not and should not be a literary form of expression. A theatrical celebration can take place anywhere: out of doors, in a garage, in a stable. The problem with avant-garde theatre today is that it is absolutely intellectual. You have to be cerebrally inclined to understand what is going on.
The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation.
A good drama critic is one who perceives what is happening in the theatre of his time. A great drama critic also perceives what is not happening.
It's one of the tragic ironies of the theatre that only one man in it can count on steady work -- the night watchman.
There are two impulses in theatre: to be frivolous or to make rules.
The theatre is a spiritual and social X-ray of its time.
The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everythinggestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darknessrediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations.... To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.
The Theatre of Cruelty has been created in order to restore to the theatre a passionate and convulsive conception of life, and it is in this sense of violent rigour and extreme condensation of scenic elements that the cruelty on which it is based must be understood. This cruelty, which will be bloody when necessary but not systematically so, can thus be identified with a kind of severe moral purity which is not afraid to pay life the price it must be paid.
There is another form of temptation, more complex in its peril. It originates in an appetite for knowledge. From this malady of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre. Hence do we proceed to search out the secret powers of nature (which is beside our end), which to know profits not, and wherein men desire nothing but to know.
Living in an institution, rumours of change can make life more bearable, and starting rumours can be a wonderful pleasure for those without much hope. The National Theatre was like that.
About ten days later, it being the time of year when the National collected down and outs to walk on and understudy I arrived at the head office of the National Theatre in Aquinas Street in Waterloo.
The theatre couldn't match what was going on in a court of law or at football grounds. The theatre has never been able to match what goes on anywhere, that's why so few people go.
T.V. has made going to the theatre seem pointless, photography has pretty much killed painting but graffiti has remained gloriously unspoilt by progress.
When soon I sail from here, I may again run into such a storm as the one in Kvasefjord. But this time I shall clearly understand that it is not a play in the theatre, but it is death. and it seems too that then, in the last moment before we go down, I can in in all truth be yours...