The coup de théâtre and the enchanting object of performance

McEvoy, William (2020) The coup de théâtre and the enchanting object of performance. Studies in Theatre and Performance. pp. 1-21. ISSN 1468-2761

[img] PDF (This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Theatre and Performance on 27/04/2020, available online: - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial.

Download (202kB)


Examining three examples from theatre productions in London and Edinburgh between 1997-2001, this article explores the coup de théâtre as a theatrical phenomenon. It argues for the importance of enchantment in conceptualising the coup de théâtre and that the suspension of the rational in relation to such theatrical moments is central to their impact. This sense of enchantment revolves around the changing status of the object in the coup de théâtre, which, it will be suggested, is linked to the shift between animacy and inanimacy. By destabilising rational modes of understanding, the coup de théâtre enters into the temporality of death and mourning, as objects occupy dual ontologies, both living and inanimate, literal and metaphorical. The coup de théâtre, it will be argued, is a point in performance in which perception and memory, the visible and the conceptual, converge, and in which the permanence of death is troubled by the reanimating effect of theatre.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: coup de théâtre, enchantment, death, object, transformation
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1600 Drama
Depositing User: William McEvoy
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2019 10:16
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2021 01:00

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update