How does our 'Britishness' effect our performance as well as our every day lives?

Tess Schofield, 4 October 2012

Our discussion was fairly fluid, covering many different aspects across many tangents - not all of which I'll list here!

We felt that performance and rehearsal can enable the actor to deal with feelings and/or memories that are painful in a safe environment. Often, as Brits, we deem expressing emotion as uncomfortable or inappropriate. (Obviously that is a large, sweeping generalisation!). We can relax the ‘stiff upper lip’ we are usually encouraged to maintain. Being ‘in character’ creates an excuse to deal with our own issues and use these in a constructive way.

We are also encouraged from an early age to ‘win’ and avoid failure. Expression of emotion is often seen as weakness if this involves feelings of vulnerability or anxiety. Perhaps theatre and performance allows us to practice expressing freely. An example of this would be dramatherapy.

It's interesting also that as an audience member we are very quick to be cynical and judgemental. Perhaps we are often very quick to condemn. It's hard to say whether this pushes theatre companies to be better or is off-putting. Again, the theatre experience can be cathartic for an audience member too.

We also mentioned the North/South divide and wondered whether there are varying

degrees of Britishness and if that effects the local theatre companies.

We discussed many, many aspects and I'd like to say thanks to everyone for coming along and having a chat :-)


british, dramatherapy, British