Theatre and Aural Attention. Stretching Ourselves (by George Home-Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2015)
The question of attention in theatre remains relatively unexplored. In redressing this, Theatre and Aural Attention investigates what it is to attend theatre by means of listening. Focusing on four core aural phenomena in theatre – noise, designed sound, silence, and immersion – George Home-Cook concludes that theatrical listening involves paying attention to atmospheres.
Such matters are examined as they have arisen in some of the most sophisticated works of theatre sound design of recent years, including Sound & Fury’s Kursk, Romeo Castellucci’s Purgatorio, Complicite’s Shun-kin and Robert Lepage’s Lipsynch. In suggesting how theatre works to direct the audience’s aural attention, the book also carries out an important enquiry into radio drama (Beckett’s All That Fall, Embers, and Pinter’s A Slight Ache).
This ground-breaking study will be of interest to drama students, sound theorists, practitioner-researchers, performance philosophers, and to anyone curious to explore what it means to attend theatre.