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Physical Theatre: Commedia dell’Arte

Four Centuries-Old Mother of Many Art and Theatre Forms A visual performance art form from late 16th century Italy still resonates today, as it gave birth to separate but linked genres that speak universally to audiences. Since Greek/Roman times two traditions of theatre in Europe developed – the written and memorised, and the spontaneously improvised. Sometimes one would dominate, then the other. Occasionally they would converge. Plays are still written and performed by actors who have learned their lines. Spontaneous improvisation of the travelling troubadour lives on in circus clowning, English pantomime and Punch & Judy. Stock Characters On Stage The Commedia dell’Arte (which means art, skill or craft of comedy or the masked comedy) used stock (stereotypical) characters to tell well-honed tales. It relied on physical theatre, mime with some words, presented often … Read entire article »

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Fixed Term Parliament: Panacea or Straitjacket?

UK Prime Ministers Call General Elections at Best-Chance Times At any time, the Prime Minister of the day can ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament for an election, unless a government’s five years are up. Then there’s no choice left. All Parliaments end on the fifth year, unless a Prime Minister decides he/she wants to go to the country earlier, because the chances of winning are higher. This might be because of some perceived success (eg. war or conflict, massive reduction in taxes and cost of living), or some bad news is coming (eg, economic wipe-out and fiscal collapse). Vote of Confidence in the House of Commons An election would come ahead of time and very speedily if a Government lost a vote of confidence in … Read entire article »

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