(Coveney’s article appeared in Prospect Magazine, 8/19/10; via Michael Billington’s article on Experimental Theatre in the Guardian, 1/10: http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/jan/10/e-for-experiment-modern-drama. Jerzy Grotowski interview is in Polish: press cc on the bottom YouTube toolbar for English translation.)
Not long ago, the audience in a theatre was there to watch a play. Nowadays, the audience is the play, or at least the protagonist in a production that is animated by the paying customer.
Recently I visited an abandoned electricity board building in Bethnal Green, east London, signing away my possessions and jacket on the door. My loafers were gaffer-taped to my socks; I was placed in a wheelchair; pushed through swing doors; and berated about the bad form of an American football team. Two seconds later, I was in a locker room, delivering a pep talk while 15 hunks glowered at me through facepaint and helmet guards.