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Performing presence, affirming difference: Deleuze and the minor theatre of Georges Lavaudant and Carmelo Bene

Cull, LK (2011) Performing presence, affirming difference: Deleuze and the minor theatre of Georges Lavaudant and Carmelo Bene In: Contemporary French Theatre and Performance. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 99-110. ISBN 0230580513

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This essay will begin by providing an exposition of “One Manifesto Less”: Gilles Deleuze’s little known essay on the Italian actor and director, Carmelo Bene, and his only extended piece of writing on the theatre. Rethinking the presence/representation paradigm, Deleuze envisages theatre as that which can put us in contact with the reality of difference. Having introduced the essay’s key concepts of perpetual variation, virtual and actual, major and minor I will then explore the extent to which the contemporary French theatre of Georges Lavaudant takes up Deleuze’s call for theatre to affirm perpetual variation or difference-in-itself. Like Bene, Lavaudant is well known for his surgical operations upon classic texts, and indeed in the recent work La Rose et la Hache (2006), Lavaudant explicitly addresses his debt to Bene. I want to examine the relations between Deleuze, Bene and Lavaudant with a particular focus on the politics of theatre. As Fortier has argued Deleuze’s essay makes revolutionary claims for Bene’s work which Bene himself might well have rejected. Lavaudant, on the other hand, shares Deleuze’s belief in the power of theatre to constitute itself as a form of resistance to forces of homogenization and stasis. As such, we are left wondering why Deleuze did not look closer to home – to Lavaudant – for an exemplary minor theatre. By examining Lavaudant’s most recent productions, the essay will close with a reflection on the different nature of the challenges presented to theatre by the political climate that served as the context for Deleuze’s 1978 essay and today’s globalised world. We will conclude that in order to affirm difference, theatre must place itself in perpetual variation; it must perpetually vary in order to have any hope of affecting change.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Cull, LK
Editors :
Lavery, C
Finburgh, C
Date : 17 May 2011
Uncontrolled Keywords : carmelo bene, deleuze, theatre, georges lavaudant
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:28
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2019 14:08

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