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.

chapter |35 pages


Theatrical performance in the forensic turn

chapter Chapter 1|32 pages

Data chaos and the verification void

chapter Chapter 2|22 pages

I’m seen therefore I am

Romance in the forensic turn

chapter Chapter 3|26 pages

The hypothetical real vs. the interiority illusion

chapter Chapter 4|14 pages

Life throes

The strange case of the diehard corpse

chapter Chapter 5|37 pages

Undead domesticity

Naturalism and home in the forensic turn

chapter Chapter 6|27 pages

Open dialogue as prefigurative performance

Re-assembling the forum (part I)

chapter Chapter 7|26 pages

Effects of infinity

Re-assembling the forum (part II)

chapter |2 pages