Theatre and the Macabre
The ‘macabre’, as a process and product, has been haunting the theatre – and more broadly, performance – for thousands of years. In its embodied meditations on death and dying, its thematic and aesthetic grotesquerie, and its sensory-rich environments, macabre theatre invites artists and audiences to trace the stranger, darker contours of human existence. In this volume, numerous scholars explore the morbid and gruesome onstage, from freak shows to the French Grand Guignol; from Hell Houses to German Trauerspiel; from immersive theatre to dark tourism, stopping along the way to look at phantoms, severed heads, dark rides, haunted mothers and haunting children, dances of death and dismembered bodies. From Japan to Australia to England to the United States, the global macabre is framed and juxtaposed to understand how the theatre brings us face to face with the deathly and the horrific.