The Problem of Brecht

Comparing a classical dramaturgy that relies on “eternal truths” with a Brechtian notion that those plays 1) tell only what you already know and 2) the “eternal human spirit” is another way of saying that “oppression is your lot”, and that instead you need to show situations are contingent on social factors, and that they are, at any given point, alterable.

The problem now is that every innovation that Brecht came up with becomes a convention – become so rote as to be invisible.  One outcome is a new style of documentary theatre, presented here by a version of events where Venice was in fact sacked, and Violetta the victim is interviewed by a journalist, bracketed on stage by talking heads providing different points of view for context …

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