The physical existence of theatre proves the importance of visuality in theatre. In the numerous languages transformed from the text, the verbal is always the first that one can think of; however, undeniably, the carefully choreographed body movements and the meticulously crafted environments on stage also reads and writes the text at the same time. Occasionally, these wordless languages even leave the deepest impressions, and call for constant re-staging in a spectator’s mind. For this issue, we have carefully selected a number of remarkable theatre companies and productions, captured significant events that have changed the stage forever, and wish to introduce to our readers most memorable figures, protagonists in fascinating stories.
For many, the circus as a form of entertainment and a cultural phenomenon exists in literature, moves its tents from place to place, includes naughty clowns, tamed tigers and lions, flying men, or awe-inspiring body of extreme strength or softness. However, in fact, the contemporary circus on stage has already equipped itself with a more sensitive expression. NoFit State Circus from Welsh is one contemporary circus company that breakthroughs traditions with innovative and daring productions. What makes it legendary? The famed venue Roundhouse in London, due to the nature of the space, becomes a perfect venue for circus productions. As one major venue of the London CircusFest, how will new circus evolve in the Roundhouse?
Once an ordinary cardboard is animated in the hand of puppet master, the stage becomes the world of the puppets. The puppet is translated into Chinese as 木偶, literally “wooden idol”, but the world of the puppet is far more exciting than just wood. The Puppet Centre from London celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014. In this birthday party, we encountered fragile but beautiful creatures, and stories of care and passion. Puppet company of breakthrough, Blind Summit, has visited China twice – with its unique Brit-style, the Blind Summit liberates the puppets from the world of the adolescents and unleashes them into the that of the grown-ups. We also visited the Little Angel Theatre, “the home of the British puppet”. Under the humble roof of the theatre it offers strange narrations.
And those bodies that tell stories. DV8 has always been a powerful name. The unique expressions grant DV8 its position and influence. They create patiently and progress discreetly, and later meet the audience with a remarkable sense of polished progression, and undeniable rigor. Others – Complicité, Theatre O, and Kneehigh – all favor physical narrations and stand out in their own rights. They all create marvelous stories in the world of physical theatre.
The Drowned Man that has recently finished was a myth created by the Punchdrunk at the Paddington Station of London. From nothing to being, then to nothing again, it was all a dream meticulously constructed. Unlike traditional theatre in which all audiences are docilely seated, spectators in this theatrical space were granted with freedom to act. This brings theatre back to the relationship between the two most fundamental elements: the actor and the audience, and encourages participation and intermingling. Another company known for presenting immersive theatre, shunt, utilizes environment in a more relaxed fashion. La Patin Libre is also fascinated about environment, and dances in rink with flame-like passion and ice-like brightness.
With the development of new technologies inspiring many artists, moving images blowouts in the theatre. In this context, it is not difficult to tell delicate and enlightening compositions from careless and rough productions. 59 Production stands out as a team that is marked by its insistence and the quality of its production. They have already collaborated with almost all top British art and theatre organizations. How do they view the development of visual theatre? Female director Katie Mitchel, known for her multimedia productions, is presenting two productions in the theatre of London. How can one narrate dry scientific facts and stage the traditional text of Chekhov through multimedia means – these all call for excited anticipations.
This issue includes works, companies, theatre festivals emphasizing on the visual aspect of the theatre, and offers background information. We hope it can present a feast of the visual, or inspire wordless excitements.
有關馬戲的記憶還停留在文學作品裡的流動大帳篷，搗亂的小醜和馴化的獅虎，以及蕩來蕩去的空中飛人，或者是讓人驚嘆的或是異常強壯或是別樣柔韌的身體。然而在不經意之間，舞臺上的馬戲作品早已有了更為敏感的表達。來自英國威爾士的“別扭馬戲”（NoFit State Circus）正是一個極具突破性的當代馬戲團體，他們的作品創新而勇敢。在這些作品背後，會是怎樣的一個傳奇的團體呢？倫敦的圓屋劇場（Roundhouse）也正因為場地的特別而成為了一個演出新馬戲作品的難得之選，作為倫敦國際馬戲節的主場地，它又是如何目睹著新馬戲的發展呢？
當普通的一塊紙板在木偶藝術家手中被賦予了生命，舞臺也正成為了那些木偶們的世界。習慣中被稱為木偶，偶的世界卻遠非“木頭”一般單調。倫敦木偶中心（Puppet Centre）在2014年迎來了它40歲的生日。在這個生日派對上，我們遭遇了那些敏感的生命和他們細心呵護的故事。獨具突破性的木偶劇團盲頂（Blind Summit）劇團曾經兩度造訪中國。擁有獨特的“英倫範兒”，盲頂把偶們解救出了瘋狂的兒童觀眾，在成年人的世界裡放蕩不羈。我們還探訪了有著英國木偶之家美稱的小天使劇院（Little Angel Theatre），在那方簡陋的屋檐下，有著古靈精怪的故事。
還有那些會講故事的身體。DV8從來都是個擲地有聲的名字，那些獨特的表達奠定了他們在舞臺上的地位和影響，他們的創作節奏緩慢、過程神秘，這些在最終呈現給觀眾的時候都有著磨礪的過程感和不容質疑的嚴謹。無論是Complicité, O劇團（Theatre O）還是虹彩（Kneehigh），雖然都偏重肢體敘事，卻有著各自不同的特色，在肢體劇場的世界裡講述著彼此的故事。
剛剛謝幕的《淹沒者（The Drowned Man）》是Punchdrunk在倫敦帕丁頓火車站創造的一個神話。從無到有，再到沒有，一切都是憑空堆砌起來的一個夢境。不同于傳統的座位式劇場，在這個劇場空間觀眾們有了更多的自由和更大的主動權。這讓戲劇重新回到了觀眾與演員這兩個最為原始的因素，那些獨具匠心的安排又帶來了前所未有的參與感；同樣以環境劇場著稱的劇團shunt，對於環境的運用卻有著更為輕松的態度。而Le Patin Libre同樣對於環境有著特殊的迷戀，這場在冰場上的舞蹈有著火一般的熱情和冰晶一般的閃亮。