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p. 343. In and out of characterlocked

  • Matthew Bevis

Abstract

Is predictability the secret to good comedy? Character becomes comic as person is reduced to thing, and this thing-ness becomes something habitual. Comic character has a ridiculous compulsion to repeat: one becomes a self-parody. ‘In and out of character’ looks at comedy in terms of identity and character. The notion of the actor is one of a shady character. The comic mode exacerbates the duplicity of the actor. It confronts audiences not just with an actor playing someone else but also with that character themselves acting, frequently upsetting any settled sense of who they are.

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