In Place of a Show: What Happens Inside Theatres When Nothing is Happening is a compelling account of Western theatre buildings in the 21st century: theatres stripped of their primary purpose, lying empty, preserved as museums, or demolished.
Playfully combining first-person narratives, scholarly research and visual documents, Augusto Corrieri explores the material and imaginative potentials of these places, charting interconnections between humans, birds, vegetation, and the beguiling animations of inanimate things, such as walls, curtains and seats.
Across four chapters we learn of the uncanny dismantling and reconstitution of a German Baroque auditorium during the Second World War; the phantasmal remains of a demolished music hall in London's East End; a Renaissance Italian theatre, fleetingly transformed into an aviary by the appearance of a swallow; and a lavish opera house emerging from the Amazon rainforest. In these pages we are invited to discover theatres as sites of anomalous encounters and surprising coincidences: places that might reveal the performative entanglement of human and nonhuman worlds.
Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2016. 210 pages, Hardcover, 14.2cm x 2.1cm x 22cm.