Chapter 10. Humour and… Stalin in a National Theatre of Greece postmodern production

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This study focuses on the function of humour in a postmodern performance which explored Stalinism as a paradigm of power politics and suggested that Stalinism is comparable to Modern Greek theatre. The performance suggests that non-conformist art can be denied acceptance and/or success and that both Stalinism and Modern Greek theatre are powerful enough to curb non-conformist artists. This analogy creates a special form of political humour which targets both Stalinism and the Greek theatre, and reveals the Stalinist practices followed in the latter. The study applies a semiotic approach to the analysis of performance and argues that humour, irony, and parody in the production are activated through the complex interaction of verbal, visual, musical, paralinguistic, and intersemiotic signs and codes.


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