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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: January 2021

2 - Staging Consciousness


Chapter 2: This chapter begins by observing that the repertoire of science plays is dominated by works in which scientific issues are the subject of the drama, rather than a mode of exploration, in symbiotic relationship with those of the theatre itself. This kind of symbiosis can occur only if the collaborative process is set up at the outset, so that the script evolves in concert with all aspects of staging and enactment – a method pioneered by Theatre de Complicité, under the direction of its founder Simon McBurney. Taking as a case study McBurney’s stage adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novel Beware of Pity, the chapter explores the question of how consciousness might be staged, rather than talked about. Central to the experiment is the process of working with metaphor, both as literary conceit and as an approach to theatrical realization.