ABSTRACT

This chapter illustrates the differences between comic and non-comic performance forms, how comic performance works in practice, and how the actor and director might develop the repertoire of acting skills that are required to produce effective comic performance. It considers how the comic performer maintains some form of interplay with the audience while performing in comic text. The chapter also considers how this audience interplay can shape your performance and discuss how to remain 'true' to your character and the situation within the parameters of the accepted fiction. Modern, Westernised, Anglo-American cultural considerations of performance are almost always based on some sort of adherence to the notion of 'dramatic truth'. Since Aristotle's time, the conception of the dramatic ideal of tragedy was 'the depiction of a heroic action that arouses pity and fear in the spectators and brings about a catharsis of those emotions'.