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Today his pre-eminence as a founder of modern theatrical style is rivalled only by Brecht, with whom he has much in common.The man and his work, as Martin Esslin persuasively argues in this perceptive study, are inseparable and must be considered together.
Founder of the Theatre of Cruelty and a strong influence on Peter Brook, Antonin Artaud dedicated his life and sanity to purging the contemporary French theatre of its bourgeois tendencies.
The influence of Antonin Artaud on the contemporary theatre has only become evident since the early Sixties, although writers and directors have been directly or indirectly influenced by his thinking and innovations for many years.
He read English and Philosophy at Vienna University.
From 1936 to 1938 he trained as a director at the Reinhardt Seminar of Dramatic Art in Vienna.
Watching a play can bring out raw emotions, emotions that are not present in everyday life.
The plague brings out chaos, confusion and turmoil; as do emotions when not experienced frequently.This outcome was satisfactory for Artaud as he wanted his work to be shocking, outrageous and alarming; he wanted to be recognised and remembered.Artaud states, The plague takes dormant images, latent disorder and suddenly carries them to the point of the most extreme gestures.It rediscovers the idea of figures and archetypal symbols which act like sudden silences, fermata, heart stops, adrenalin calls, incendiary images surging into our abruptly woken minds.For theatre can only happen the moment the inconceivable really begins, where poetry taking place on stage, nourishes and superheats created symbols.You do not have to be a certain class, gender, race or of a certain background to enjoy the theatre.When people went to the theatre they were united, in that they were all there to delight in a performance.Many of Artaud theories have been used by others, such as Grotowski, Peter Brook and the Royal Shakespeare Company.It is also obligatory reading in many drama colleges. Writing The Stage Essay The French, poet, actor and theorist, Antonin Artaud is recognised as one of the most radical influences on theatre in the 20th century.It instead would become a sort of communion between the audience and the actor and make theatre a live experience.