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date: 27 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

One of the culturally dominant means through which time is conceptualized as space, and vice versa, jet lag has increasingly become a metaphor we live by. It has particular resonances for Shakespearean performance, a phenomenon that is, by definition, perpetually out of time. Taking as a point of departure Brian Cox’s 1991 account of his experience of the National Theatre’s touring productions of King Lear and Richard III, this chapter aligns the predicament of the jet -lagged traveller, the off-form actor, and the jet-lagged, off-form travelling actor to argue that their mutual predicament offers an under-explored frame of reference for performance in general and for Shakespeare in performance in particular. It examines how mechanisms of synchrony (or entrainment) shape the actor’s work in performance and with the audience. It also examines the implications of theatrical good and bad timing, and the sometimes unexpected consequences of time getting out of joint.

Keywords: Key terms, Entrainment, synchrony, jet lag, rhythm, Shakespearean performance, Brian Cox, National Theatre, King Lear, Richard III

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