‘You will see no false nothing false tonight’ – the Hypnotist
Tim Crouch’s second play collapses a tale of loss and grief into an exploration of theatrical representation, in a piece of theatre that is at once formally innovative and profoundly moving. Written for two actors, An Oak Tree depicts the fraught meeting of a grieving father and the stage hypnotist who was behind the wheel of the car that killed his daughter, with the father played by a different actor at each performance, walking on stage with no prior knowledge of the play.
Catherine Love explores An Oak Tree's connections with conceptual art, the unique process of its creation, its interrogation of stage representation, its relationship with audiences, and its place as part of Crouch’s ongoing body of work.
Introduction 1. Conceptual Art 2. Collaboration and Authorship 3. Representation 4. The Audience Bibliography
Routledge’s Fourth Wall books are short, accessible accounts of some of modern theatre’s best loved works. They take a subjective but easily digestible approach to their topics, allowing their authors the opportunity to explore their chosen subject in a way that is absorbing enough to be of use both to lovers of theatre and those who are being asked to study a play more deeply.
Each book in the series looks at a specific play, variously exploring its themes, contexts and characteristics while prioritising original, insightful writing over complexity or scholarly weight. While other cultural products such as albums and films are well served by this kind of writing, the Fourth Wall series aims to find room between rigorous analysis and the short format of reviews or articles. They are extended accounts that get to the heart of their chosen works without being bound by the density that academic treatments can often require.