chapter  15
Helen E. Richardson: ARIANE MNOUCHKINE AND THE THÉÂTRE DU SOLEIL: THEATRICALISING HISTORY; THE THEATRE AS METAPHOR; THE ACTOR AS SIGNIFIER
ByHelen E. Richardson
Pages 18

A R I A N E M N O U C H K I N E H A S C O N S I S T E N T LY created an epic uni-verse on stage: fierce in its consideration of the unrelenting momentum of history and human passions, while intimate in its focus on the individual’s struggle to survive and, when possible, to act their conscience. Her stage images are rarely matched in the theatre and evoke the power of such masters of the cinema as Eisenstein and Kurasawa. She has inspired a vast public, engendering one of the most popular avant-garde theatres of the last forty-five years. Throughout her career Mnouchkine has sought to regenerate the dynamic interchange, traditionally found in popular theatre forms, between performer and audience, while exploring socially relevant and compelling themes. A significant part of the company’s effort has been toward developing a rapport between the actor and the public that produces a sense of community, so that everyone becomes part of an extended global theatre family, the Théâtre du Soleil.