Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Role of Misrule in the Practice of Performance

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posted on 2023-03-14, 23:30 authored by Cameron, Gregor

In the theatre we are familiar with how rehearsal and collaboration can lead to a number of unintended discoveries that can cause a production to change tack. At the heart of this thesis is discovery- of oneself as an artist, as part of community collaboration and as part of a story told on stage. Using carnival as a frame for the space we work in, accepting that the ʻtricksterʼ cultural figure can be a manifestation of the carnival, it should be possible for the role of trickster to be taken on by someone in the rehearsal process. This is often but not always the director. These ʻhappy accidentsʼ can in fact arise through the directorʼs deliberate disruption of the community. At times, problems that raise their heads are solved through this creative process. Misrule is my definition of this and I offer my experience of this within the process of bringing Saint Punch, a carnivalesque/ Grand Guignol show, to the stage. I compare this with some other practitionersʼ experience of this process of disruptive imagination as defense of my position. By recognizing it in both theory and practice through a critical analysis my aim is to seek a synthesis intended to enrich the theatrical experience of the audience.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


Downie, John