Participation Enactment

Storytelling achieves the clarification of the great importance of something by creating a sense of moments as momentous, for those involved, for its audiences and readers. In live performance the storytellers art succeeds by action and gesture, moulding the voice, body and features into a state of empathy with the people and events, so that the moment of telling allows the story to come fully into existence, thus allowing the listener to participate. This quality I call enactment. The characters become habitable spaces, there all the time but coming alive whenever the space is filled by a real actor. Characters in fairy tales, any characters known through previous tellings, pre-exist the performance or reading. 'Hamlet' has become a space inhabited by generations of actors and audiences, and this is so because 'Hamlet' is a voice within a compelling story. Hamlet's condition is one of profound scepticism mixed with adult sexual revulsion. It needs a particular story to bring that out. Once out and enacted, we can see it, feel, empathise with and come to understand the nature of this scepticism—sometimes perverse, sometimes full of insight. We understand it in time, not just as abstraction.

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