Brockmann, Stephen (ed.) / Where extremes meet : rereading Brecht and Beckett = Begegnung der Extreme : Brecht und Beckett : eine Re-interpretation
Lehmann, Hans-Thies, et al.
Brecht and Beckett in the theater I, pp. -63
Where Extremes Meet: Rereading Brecht and Beckett / Begnung der Extreme. Brecht und Beckett: Eine Re-interpretation show the complete stage picture so that the blocking pattern can be ascertained clearly. From all available evidence, Beckett appears to have been much more insistent on ultimate control of his texts in performance than Brecht was. The fundamental difference between B & B: n spite of the many traits of their theatrical practice that they shared, there remain, of course, profound differences between the two playwright/directors. I don't think I need to elaborate here, but let me mention one instance where their attitudes differed sharply: Brecht held that, as a playwright and director, he was obliged to enlighten his audience about their position with respect to society, and to advocate social change, i.e. the improvement of society, which, in his view, was most likely to be attained through socialism. Beckett, on the other hand, had no avowed intention to educate anyone or to change the world in the least. When the critic/scholar Katherine Worth mentioned to him that Edward Bond "wanted to change the world" with his plays, Beckett commented: "Let it turn!" Some of the lessons we can learn from B & B: W alter Asmus: "What I learned foremost from working with Beckett was: to strive for precision, to strive for simplicity, to encourage actors to be simple with their means, to trust simplicity, to dare not to act, to act concretely and functionally." This was also one of the most valuable lessons I learned from working with Brecht. Others were: the importance of creating a precise and easily readable visual narrative and of defining a concrete and sharply profiled gestus of characters when working with the actors. Most of all, to strive in the scenic writing for the clearest possible articulation of the fable as it has been derived from the text. Walter Asmus B&B here is almost nothing left to tell, to quote Beckett. We are marrying them! I get the feeling B&B are now more or less synonomous. The only thing I can do is carry on in this vein. But I can't refrain from remarking that there were times when Beckett was a persona non grata on one side of the world, and Bertolt Brecht 54
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