Feature in Issue 11-1 | Spring 1999

Sadly the new year began with the deaths, in quick succession, of two of this century's leading men of the theatre: Jerzy Grotowski and Jacques Lecoq. Both men left an indelible stamp on western theatre practice and, as history will no doubt show, their legacies will prove to be enduring. This issue is dedicated to the work of Jacques Lecoq, whose theatre school in Paris has been a meeting ground for many leading physical theatre companies in the forty years since it was founded in 1956. For those who studied with Jacques Lecoq, he was more than just a theatre teacher, his philosophy on life left lasting impressions on all he worked with. In this issue, a selection of graduates from Lecoq's school share their own memories of Jacques Lecoq in tribute to the master. Also in this issue, Paul Allain writes about the life and work of Jerzy Grotowski. Watch out for the next issue of Total Theatre for more in depth analysis of Grotowski's legacy.

Continuing with the theme of Lecoq, this issue also includes a profile of Bouge-de-là, a company whose work grew from Lecoq's experiments with architecture, the body and space at his Laboratoire d'Etudes du Mouvement (LEM) in Paris. Continuing the Polish theatre theme, there is also a profile of the Polish actress Zofia Kalinska who became famous worldwide for her work with Tadeusz Kantor, but who also studied with Grotowski in Krakow in the 1950s.

To round this issue off, David Harradine reports on Total Theatre's Critical Practice Debate in January. The debate asked the loaded question: What is the new mime? And, in the context of the London International Mime Festival – which is reviewed on pages 22 and 23 – the debate proves to be a contentious one. As a final note, please remember that Total Theatre magazine welcomes contributions from all its readers. We are particularly interested in writers from outside London who would like to cover arts activities across the country. Please contact the office if you're interested.

This article in the magazine

Issue 11-1
p. 3