Bear Necessity: The Means to The End

Hudson, James (2020) Bear Necessity: The Means to The End. In: The Trilogy: Acts of Dramaturgy. Playtext Series . Intellect, Bristol. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

The long and problematic relationship between humans, bears, and spectacle is disinterred and playfully reprised and reappraised in Michael Pinchbeck’s The End (2011), the third and final part of The Trilogy (2014). In this piece, Pinchbeck, as with its precursive sections, is deliberately tarrying with Shakespearean motifs that provide an existing theatrical armature to undergird his investigation, mediating various aspects of its theatrical lineage in contemporary postdramatic terms. In this chapter, I am interested in examining the connective tissue between the historical theatricalisation of bears, particularly in their stagebound manifestation in the Early Modern period, and the kind of engagement with the motif of the performing bear initiated in Pinchbeck’s The End, where the performance invokes Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction ‘Exit pursued by a bear’ from The Winter’s Tale. In doing this, I show how by re-enacting and re-edifying this image in his play, Pinchbeck’s dramatization offers ways of thinking about endings, the meanings of them, and the dramaturgical means available to reach them in contemporary postdramatic performance.

Keywords:Michael Pinchbeck, The Trilogy, The Winter's Tale, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dramaturgy, Bear Baiting, Shakespeare
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:37689
Deposited On:08 Oct 2019 09:59

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