Australian Journal of French Studies

"Serge, un peu d'humour!" Homo ridens et "Art" de Yasmina Reza

Australian Journal of French Studies (2012), 49, (2), 183–195.

Abstract

Yasmina Reza has often bemoaned the fact that the success of her play "Art" was based on a misunderstanding: the audience laughed too much and badly. An analysis of the audience's reactions during the play's premiere - which happened to be filmed - allows an empirical observation of the nature, strength and frequency of laughter and other audible responses, such as clapping. If traditional comic devices are shown to work, other more tragic situations provoked a misplaced mirth. This new approach to laughter confirms theoretical intuitions and provides new insights into the ways in which humour flows between stage and audience.

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Author details

Jaccomard, Helene