The Panic Theatre is a set of plays conceived by Fernando Arrabal between 1957 and 1966, the author's first years in Paris. Composed at the zenith of the avant-garde movement, they convey a radically new and challenging theatricality whose cornerstone is their ceremonial shape. The plays' underlying panic ceremony is thoroughly studied in light of Arrabal's programmatic text Le Panique, that singles out three key concepts responsible for artistic creation: memory, chance and confusion. This study shows how memory determines the plays' departure from mimesis and how chance articulates the materials recalled from memory into precisely arranged plots. Furthermore, subjects, objects, spatial-temporal frames and words are subject to confusion, in an attempt to create an utterly innovative form of theatre. This group of seemingly heterogeneous plays is given theoretical coherence and consistency by placing the idea of panic at the centre of a great formal experimentation. Diego Santos Sánchez is a full-time researcher at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
Subjects: Language & Literature, Performing Arts
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