Ed Madden, Theatre Director and Creative Associate at Gate Theatre, introduces British playwright Caryl Churchill. Madden explores Churchill’s works in-depth and considers how her experimentation with language, the collaborative process with Joint Stock and the strong political and feminist content of her work has led her to become one of the greatest living dramatists in the UK.
The term Tragedy refers to a theatrical practice that emerged in Ancient Greece, involving highly sophisticated dramas with serious themes, the scripts of which remain popular all over the world. The significance of Tragedy to theatre history owes much to The Poetics of Aristotle, a book of dramaturgy, theatre history, and play analysis, stating that Tragedies are designed to produce eleos (empathy) and phobos (fear).
Comedy is, by its nature, highly contextual, it must constantly adapt to changes in the cultural milieu in which it works. Comedy also relies on newness and surprise more heavily than other art forms – some jokes just aren’t funny after the first or second time one hears them. As a result, new forms and styles emerge constantly, just as older forms fall out of favour and are abandoned.
The world-famous Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon is custodian of all things Shakespeare and a comprehensive source of knowledge. Digital Theatre+ commissioned them to create a Comparing Comedy guide to accompany our Shakespeare's Globe Collection production of Love's Labour's Lost, to enable students to compare and contrast this production with its partner play, Much Ado About Nothing.