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Title: The Erotic Voyeur: Sensorial engagement in Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man
Authors: Maples, H
Keywords: Punchdrunk;Immersive theatre;Spectatorship;Eroticism;The art of seduction;The experience economy
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Citation: Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, 4(1), (2016)
Abstract: The cultural industries often privilege the use of sight and sound as our main areas of experience. This is especially the case in theatre criticism; but what of taste, smell and touch? Punchdrunk’s manipulation of sensorial experience allows their immersive performance to become both an enticing and destabilizing theatrical arena for the audience. The performance of intimacy constructed through the use of nostalgia triggering aromas, invitations to explore the set and performers bodies through touch, and the inclusion of one-on-one encounters between performers and audience members, all allow the actor/spectator to be seduced by the “story-world” of The Drowned Man. With the hyper-reality achieved through the film noir soundscape and the chaotic dance theatre sequences created by the performers, the spectator can delve into a fantasy world of menace and eroticism. This article examines the role of the spectator as erotic voyeur in Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man. Through an examination of the company’s use of interactive, sensorial experience where audience members are invited to touch, inhabit and investigate the world around them, Punchdrunk invite the audience to become a part of the world and yet remain separate from it, reinforcing the erotically charged voyeuristic realm of the production.
ISSN: 2195-0164
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Research Papers

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