chapter  45
8 Pages

Sound design: the scenography of engagement and distraction: Ross Brown

ByROSS BROWN

When mainstream theatre critics make grand proclamations about sound it seems significant, because the conventional wisdom is that sound design should not be noticed. Noticeable design, the maxim goes, must be distracting design. So when Michael Billington mentions the theatre soundscape in connection to “the return of Tragedy” in theatre (Guardian: 22 December 2004), or Susannah Clapp proclaims “there are not enough sounds on the stage” (Observer: 15 March 1998) or that “in a few years, our concentration on looking rather than listening will seem Neanderthal” (Observer: 26 December 2004) the ears prick up.