How useful is the Pavis Questionnaire in facilitating analysis?
Patrice Pavis devised his questionnaire as a tool to deconstruct performance into its component parts to give focus for close analysis. It takes the form of questions, on the most part divided into more specific subsections, about artistic and technical decisions and the performances relationship to text.
The questionnaire itself is broad in its scope, in that every production system is included. By including the seemingly obvious, e.g. where does the performance take place? It allows the analysist to find signs and meaning in otherwise overlooked or forgotten aspects of the performance.
'Tropicana' is an unusual performance, with little dialogue, and even less story line, yet it created very strong reactions amongst the audience. As two questions (9+10) are directly linked to text and storyline-, this may impact on the questionnaires effectiveness, as may the inclusion of only one question about the performance as a whole, as the impact of 'Tropicana' is based around the bombardment of the audiences senses.
The Shunt theatre company are site-specific artists, and whilst the questionnaire is detailed in its reference to staging, it asks just one question about the venue (11(a)), which is of course central to all other aspects of analysis.
Question 2 (b) and (d), are closely related to 'Tropicana's' impact. Particularly in the first half, there were no distinctions between acting and audience space nor on or off stage As we entered the first area, a small, seemingly exit-less room, containing a member of what appeared to be railway staff, a great sense of confusion was created by immediately being trapped within in the 'acting space'. This was then contrasted during the interval, when essentially the entire vault became audience space; we were free to wonder through designed set sections and explore...