Contemporary theatre, like so much of contemporary life, is obsessed with the ways in which information is detected, packaged and circulated. Running through forms as diverse as neo-naturalistic playwriting, intimately immersive theatre, verbatim drama, intermedial performance, and musical theatre, a common thread can be observed: theatre-makers have moved away from assertions of what is true and focussed on questions about how truth is framed.
Commentators in various disciplines, including education, fine art, journalism, medicine, cultural studies, and law, have identified a ‘forensic turn’ in culture. The crucial role played by theatrical and performative techniques in fuelling this forensic turn has frequently been mentioned but never examined in detail. Political and poetic, Theatrical Performance and the Forensic Turn is the first account of the relationship between theatrical and forensic aesthetics.
Exploring a rich variety of works that interrogate and resist the forensic turn, this is a must-read not only for scholars of theatre and performance but also of culture across the arts, sciences and social sciences.