Review of To Watch Theatre. Essays on Genre and Corporeality, Rachel Fensham (Brussels, Bern, e.a.: PIE Peter Lang, 2009)

Laura Ginters


When your work, just months after being published, is being quoted as an epigram by another writer, you can be pretty certain that you’ve made an impact. Rachel Fensham’s book, To Watch Theatre. Essays on Genre and Corporeality, is a fascinating collection of essays which proposes a model of embodied spectatorship located in the complex interactions between genre, corporeality and performance. ‘To watch theatre’, Fensham claims, ‘is then to watch carefully for the remaining signs of a fragile humanity’ (23). This quote (which also opens Sylvain Duguay’s essay in this year’s issue of About Performance) is an intriguing one and sets the tone for the book to come. The essays are a privileged window into the mind and imagination of a very skilled theatre watcher.

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