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Drama without theatre

Plays set in locations other than theatres—whether galleries or drill halls—have flourished in recent years. But do such works really succeed in breaking down the barrier between actors and audience?

By Chris Wilkinson   September 2007

As the west end creaks on, stuffing ever more musicals into the increasingly inadequate rectangle of the proscenium arch, theatre companies are venturing beyond the foyer to find new places to perform. “Site-specific theatre” has flourished in recent years. The National Theatre has set up home in a warehouse in Wapping; the Barbican Centre has allowed performers to make strange journeys on foot and bicycle through its complex; at this year’s Edinburgh fringe, the Traverse Theatre staged an award-winning piece in an art gallery; and the National Theatre of Scotland has put on shows in drill halls, ballrooms and factories.

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