The Third Man.

Holloway, Jonathan (2004) The Third Man. [Performance]


This project uses creative/professional production processes to explore an established dramatic and cinematographic phenomenon from a contemporary perspective. The starting-point was Greene's retention of copyright on The Third Man, which meant that I could excavate the original dramatic 'story' that bears his signature, 'liberating' it from the accretions of additional text/restructuring imposed by the film-makers, Reed and Welles. I sought to 'reinvent' its dramatic specificity in terms of Greene's authorship, and to stage aspects of that authorship in a production that also operated as a complex reflection on authorship itself. Research questions:
1. how to identify and acknowledge the filmic qualities of the story, but from the perspective of 21stC theatre technology and audience expectations?
2. how to reinstate and magnify the thematically darker elements of Greene's original text, that were omitted from the film version because of constraints applying at the time of the film's production?
3. how to introduce a contemporary, multi-media conceit, drawing out the notion of Harry Lime's constant surveillance, linked, in historically- specific terms, to the paranoia of occupied Austria, but equally to current anxieties about surveillance.
Original music was composed by Ross Brown, creating a pastiche ‘B' movie Western score. N.Irish's set employed a series of substantial steel skeletal two-storey trucks that created a set of spaces made too small for the actors to occupy comfortably (giving the effect of a bombed-out city). These were manhandled into constantly changing configurations requiring considerable muscular effort of the performers: this added physical texture, meaning that the performers themselves struggled to operate in terms equivalent to those of the fictional world depicted. The set was littered with miniature security cameras, worn or carried by the actors, projecting b/w images on screens facing the auditorium, disorientating and multiplying potential interpretations.

Venue Details

    • Location: Red Shift Theatre Company
    • Dates:

Item Type: Performance
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 752
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2008 12:52
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:12

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