In an age of populism, the progressive artist is the artist who is not afraid of silence.

The baying of an audience in pursuit of unity is a sound of despair.

In a bad time laugther is a rattle of fear.

How hard is it to sit in a silent theatre.

There is silence and there is silence. Like the colour black, there are colours within the silence.

The silence of compulsion is the greatest achievement of the actor and the dramatist.

We must overcome the urge to do things in unison. To chant together, to hum banal tunes together, is not collectivity. 

( p. 11 )

( p. 13 )

Howard Barker,  49 Asides for a Tragic Theatre in Arguments for a Theatre 1989

First published in The Guardian, 10th February 1986

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