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Acting Law | Law Acting: A Conversation with Dr Felix Nobis and Professor Gary Watt

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Abstract

Dr Felix Nobis is a senior lecturer with the Centre for Theatre and Performance at Monash University. He has worked as a professional actor for many years. He previously played an assistant to the Crown Prosecutor in the Australian television series, Janus, which was set in Melbourne, Victoria and based on the true story of a criminal family allegedly responsible for police shootings. He also played an advisor to a medical defence firm in the Australian television series MDA. He is a writer and professional storyteller. He has toured his one-person adaptation of Beowulf (2004) and one-person show Once Upon a Barstool (2006) internationally and has written on these experiences. His most recent work Boy Out of the Country (2016) is written in an Australian verse style and has just completed a tour of regional Victoria. Professor Gary Watt is an academic in the School of Law at the University of Warwick where his teaching includes advocacy and mooting. He also regularly leads rhetoric workshops at the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is the author of Dress, Law and Naked Truth (2013) and, most recently, Shakespeare’s Acts of Will: Law, Testament and Properties of Performance (2016), which explores rhetoric in law and theatre. He also co-wrote A Strange Eventful History, which he performed with Australian choral ensemble, The Song Company, to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
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Acting Law | Law Acting: A Conversation
with Dr Felix Nobis and Professor Gary
Watt
Sean Mulcahy*
Centre for Theatre and Performance, Monash University and
School of Law, University of Warwick
*Correspondence: sean.mulcahy@warwick.ac.uk
Abstract Dr Felix Nobis is a senior lecturer with the Centre for Theatre
and Performance at Monash University. He has worked as a professional
actor for many years. He previously played an assistant to the Crown
Prosecutor in the Australian television series, Janus, which was set in
Melbourne, Victoria and based on the true story of a criminal family
allegedly responsible for police shootings. He also played an advisor to a
medical defence firm in the Australian television series MDA. He is a
writer and professional storyteller. He has toured his one-person
adaptation of Beowulf (2004) and one-person show Once Upon a
Barstool (2006) internationally and has written on these experiences. His
most recent work Boy Out of the Country (2016) is written in an
Australian verse style and has just completed a tour of regional Victoria.
Professor Gary Watt is an academic in the School of Law at the University
of Warwick where his teaching includes advocacy and mooting. He also
regularly leads rhetoric workshops at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He is the author of Dress, Law and Naked Truth (2013) and, most
recently, Shakespeare’s Acts of Will: Law, Testament and Properties of
Performance (2016), which explores rhetoric in law and theatre. He also
co-wrote A Strange Eventful History, which he performed with Australian
choral ensemble, The Song Company, to mark the 400th anniversary of
Shakespeare’s death.
Keywords: law, justice, theatre, performance, acting, drama
Law is often a feature of theatrical productions and it is has frequently
been observed that legal proceedings are inherently theatrical in nature.
The accompanying image of the former Liverpool Crown Court depicts
the relationship between law and theatre visually. The image is taken
from the vantage of the judge’s bench facing the back wall that is lined
with ionic columns and a grey curtain behind which is a grand concert
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hall. The courtroom and concert hall open up to one another, suggesting
a symbiotic relationship between the spaces.
This interview is an attempt to understand law’s performance and the
performance of law through dialogue between an actor who has
sometimes played lawyers and a law professor who has sometimes
acted. The dialogue bridges the scholarly divide between the study of law
and the study of theatre and performance, bringing new insights to law
and performance.
SM: I will kick off with the first question to Felix. Camryn Manheim who
also played a lawyer on The Practice suggests that people's opinions
about law are shaped as much by television as by reality (2012: 111). Do
you agree and do you think this imposes some moral obligations on the
actor?
FN: I agree. In Australia, many of the views of the law are shaped by
American television. There's an assumption for many people when they
walk into the courtroom that it's going to be just like LA Law or that it's
going to be just like a certain law programme and that the barrister can
walk around and that they can shout ‘objection’ and things. There's
strength and also an inherent risk in that. As far as the actor’s moral
obligation, I honestly don’t think so. An actor's obligation is to learn the
script and to understand the situation and to play her or his role in the
bigger story being told by the writer and by the director and by the
producer and the many people who are involved in putting together this
kind of storytelling. The actor has an obligation to help tell that story and
to help communicate the complexities inherent within that story. There
may be a nuance there where the actor has as an obligation. But in the
same way that in a medical drama playing a doctor I don't feel I have an
obligation to the medical field, as an actor I couldn't say that there's a
moral obligation beyond doing justice to the script as it's put together by
the by the writer and the director.
SM: Gary, you've suggested that, ‘It is sometimes said that courtroom
lawyers are pretending to be actors in the theatre, but the truth is the
other way around. Stage actors are pretending to be lawyers’ (2013:
101). What do you mean by that?
GW: The idea of a hearing to a live audience is one that goes back a long
way in law, so far back that on the shield of Achilles as described by
Homer there is a scene at the centre of lawyers debating in the public
marketplace for each side of an argument for the prize of money. This
shows us the very ancient tradition of disputing in a rhetorical way for a
prize that was not just the prize of the issue at stake but also the prize of
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audience approval and payment. Lawyers have been performing for pay
and for applause, as it were, since the earliest times. The suggestion
sometimes made that courtroom lawyers are pretending to be actors
alludes to lawyers playing to the gallery or putting on a show as if that
were something undignified. Lawyers ever since the Enlightenment and
the scientific paradigm of medical practice have felt that the more
theatrical or rhetorical aspects of their art were, in some sense, lacking in
dignity. I want to suggest that lawyers shouldn't deny the rhetorical
source of their art and that they might learn a great deal about the
artistic reality of what they're doing if they were to acknowledge this
rather than deny it. Conversely, the idea that stage actors are pretending
to be lawyers is suggesting that part of what an actor is doing when
they're on stage is trying to move the present audience to some extent
that's the people within the immediate space but it's also those people as
representative of society at large. What actors want is to have a real
impact, to have a real effect… on society of the sort that lawyers can
claim.
SM: You've previously written about how ‘insiders seem dead set in their
denial of law’s imaginative dimension’ (2016: 2). Why do you think that
lawyers and legal insiders want to deny law’s imaginative, its rhetorical
and even its creative dimensions?
GW: I think it is linked to the dominance of the post-Enlightenment
professional paradigm, which is that of science and particularly medical
science. Lawyers, as a group and professional entity, are keen to be
considered on a par with medical doctors who have the respectability of
a scientific basis for what they do and a reputation for surgical
precision... Lawyers also deny the art because of the lawyers’ reputation
for dishonest artifice. Whereas if one takes the view that art is true and
that law is socially real even though it is completely man-made, we can
then acknowledge and accept the process of reality-making through art.
That's certainly my approach to it. Lawyers as a profession are driven by
the need to convince paying people that what they're offering is
something certain and scientifically predictable. Of course, it's complete
myth. Barristers only offer opinions; that's the nature of their advice, it’s
always an opinion. Judges’ judgments may be reversed on appeal and
then reinstated on subsequent higher appeal. So we've bought into this
complete myth of the scientific predictability of law, whereas in fact it is
art all the way through the human actors in law aim for scientific
precision and predictability but have to fail because of the contingency of
what they’re doing.
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SM: I might move on to talk about some of the performative dimensions
of law. The first of which is around the question of voice in law... How do
you think a study of voice, sound and rhetoric has helped shape your
understanding of law or performance or both?
FN: We ‘read’ people from their voice a great deal. One of the things that
actors do is try to train their voice to sound convincing… because what
actors are doing most of the time is telling somebody’s lie in the guise of
truth. The cracks in that truth can become apparent through vocal
performance… It’s a mystery to me that law even needs to still happen
somehow, that it can't all be done by computer, that we can't just put all
the information in and press a button. I’m joking of course, but it seems
extraordinary to me that in this day and age we still have to all meet and
listen to and perform for each other and that there is such a weight on
such a flawed and manipulative thing as voice. The notion that justice is
blind [suggests] we shouldn't be influenced by what we see visually, but
there seems to be no suggestion that we shouldn't be influenced aurally.
We are influenced aurally a great deal more than most of us are aware…
GW: There is something distinct about the word on the page and the
word spoken. When I teach my student advocates how to speak well, I'm
often emphasising the musicality of good speech and the moderation
indeed, the modulation of the voice, which produces the sense of
pleasing ease of speech. As a counterpoint to what Felix was saying
about computerised or mechanised justice, we should acknowledge that
the other thing people love their computers for nowadays, and their
smart phones, is to listen to music. There is such a deep appeal to human
wellbeing and the human psyche in pleasing sound… that I wonder if
justice silenced would actually be justice lost, in that we wouldn't have
our day in court, we wouldn't have our hearing, we wouldn't have the
sense that our voice has been heard... There might be something
absolutely essential to justice in society to having the sound heard.
FN: Just to pick up from what Gary was saying, the musicality and the
pleasure that we take from aurally receiving words or news is interesting
but it doesn't necessarily correlate to truth, if something sounds pleasant
it doesn't make it true. If the glove doesn’t fit, it doesn’t necessarily mean
we must acquit… It's the same as when writing verse. When you find that
magic rhyme, you find the rhythm, it just fits together and it's just right.
That doesn't make it true. I've just written a play in verse and I know that
sometimes the rhyme is too good to surrender so you change the story
and the truth that’s being represented through the writing. But I think
there is a truth in voice, that voice betrays us… [What actors are
concerned] about is finding a connection between internal truth, what
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we find to be true and the vocal delivery of that. That internal truth is a
very different kind of truth to a socially constructed truth.
SM: Gary, do you want to pick up on this question of truth what is the
truth that’s sought to be represented in law?
GW: If we’re talking about law – I'm thinking here about the judicial
process where you have two parties coming to court in an adversarial
system with competing ideas of the truth, a judge accepting one of those
accounts or producing a compromised third idea of truth, and the appeal
court coming up with perhaps a fourth we get the strong sense that the
process isn't actually seeking any kind of truth that exists outside of the
process. What we have, in fact, is a process that is designed to perform a
satisfactory outcome. The process of a trial is to present and prove
evidence and when that evidence can resist critique and probing we say
that the trial has produced proof. It is not a process of revealing truth,
but a process of manufacturing proof. Just as we might say that we have
manufactured waterproof clothing when it satisfactorily resists the
probing of rain. It is the fact that the proof produced by the process of
trial is sufficient to deflect doubt that we call it a satisfactory outcome, it
is not required that the outcome should also qualify as truth distinct from
the truth inherent in the evidential process itself. Lawyers cannot and do
not give the name of abstract or absolute truth to the outcome of a legal
trial. It's a comfort to me that I don't have to claim that a legal trial
produces truth and it’s probably a comfort to practicing lawyers as well
that they don't have to ascribe any abstract truth to what they're doing...
It seems to me that if lawyers can acknowledge that what they're doing is
performing proof rather than arguing for truth in an abstract way, they
can get on with their job. This is not to say that lawyers should be
unconcerned with morality, ethics and the aspiration for true justice,
only that they should not rely upon the trial process to provide these
things.
SM: To go back to the performative dimensions in some more depth,
you've written about how the body is connected to the voice and also to
the movement within a space (2016: 1). How do you think lawyers
connect their gesture and their movement with words?
GW: I know from when I teach student advocates that we wrestle with
the extent to which a lawyer should gesture and move within space.
There are limited opportunities to do so in the course of a trial. You will
approach your desk, you may move to the lectern, you might rearrange
props such books, and use your spectacles as a prop to certain gestures;
there are costume props such as the lawyer’s gown. I like to look at what
lawyers are doing and to ask if even the smallest gestures might have
significance. Silence is so much more eloquent than words very often.
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Actors know that silence fills the performance space in a way that can
hardly be attained by shouting. When you shout the sound immediately
dies away, whereas silence gets louder and louder and louder the longer
it lingers. It’s not emptiness, but a solid thing that demands our
attention. Now if that's the case with silence and sound, what about
small gestures? What if you are incredibly still? Theatrical actors know
that this produces a cinematic close up effect and that if you actually
minimise your bodily movement you’re drawing your viewer in to a tight
focus of the sort that a cinematic camera might produce. Lawyers tend
not to know any of these aspects of the actor’s art and yet some of them
are doing it well instinctively and others not so well. What if one could be
alert to this? As a jury, as a judge, as a lawyer, as an advocate, what if
one had some awareness of how body and sound and movement may all
relate to produce a combined rhetorical effect?
SM: You brought up the point about silence and pause, which is an
interesting device that actors use. Felix, do you have any thoughts on this
idea of just what role silence or pause or the absence of voice plays in
performance?
FN: I think [silence] can speak, it can recalibrate the listener, it can give
the listener opportunity to find themselves again within the story. That's
incredibly valuable. It can also give an audience an opportunity to adjust
and scratch if they've been holding on to a moment. Doing a long one
person show of 60-70 minutes, it’s important to find those moments of
allowing the audience to move or to cough if they've been holding that in
for that long. It’s a matter of timing, tuning in to the audience and then
finding a moment to pull back, maybe having a little cough yourself even
if you don't need it, to just shake things up a little bit and break the
tension which couldn't possibly hold that long. There's an element of
orchestrating that suspension of tension and then pulling it back. Silence
can often work as a tool like that.
SM: The next dimension that I wanted to move on to talk about was dress
in law and performance. Gary, having written a book about it, you've
argued that the dress that lawyers wear operates both to deflect
attention from their individual natures and their human qualities but also
to generate a sense of reflection and introspection and to give lawyers
cause to think about the ethical dilemmas inherent in their role (2013: ch
4). To what degree do you think dress plays a constitutive role in law?
GW: Dress plays a legislative role in society. It’s not just symbolic; it's
constitutive of our social idea of order. The lawyer’s gown shields the
lawyer and gives them a sense that they’re coming forward as a member
of a profession and a group that owes its first duty to social order; not to
the client but to the court and to justice. These are the founding
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constitutive ideas of the legal professional: I stand here and the first
thing you see is my gown because the first thing you should see is an
officer of the court not a partisan representative of my client. There is
that shielding effect; it allows a lawyer to come forward in role. The
provocation I posed in my book on dress was: do lawyers sit too
comfortably in this role and how much of the person gets lost in this
role? We see sometimes that lawyers, even barristers, carry an invisible
gown with them everywhere; they're still performing, they're still
separate from the common run of humanity. But lawyers should always
feel uncomfortable in the gown. They should wear it but the itchiness of
the horsehair wig, the discomfort of the waistcoat, everything should
conspire to make the lawyer think: I shouldn't feel comfortable here, I
should be feeling that I'm doing a necessary but often dirty job.
Therefore, as well as deflecting other people's critique, the gown should
also serve to irritate your own person and you should be always
questioning and conscious of that. That has to happen, otherwise lawyers
get subsumed and become empty gowns.
SM: Felix, having worn costumes before, what's the experience of putting
on a costume like for you as an actor and how has the costume affected
your performance in the role?
FN: In Janus, I played an instructing solicitor not a barrister, so I was in a
suit. More recently, in MDA, I was an adviser rather than a barrister. I
was constantly amongst people in costumes. Gary makes an interesting
point that an actor feels as well sometimes, that the costume emphasises
the role but also works as a defence for the actor, works as an excuse for
the actor to be acting in a certain way while also enhancing the
character. They're two quite different things and yet they fit together
very well. In a similar way, actors wear makeup if they’re appearing on
stage or even on television. In one way that's for the lights and so that
the audience sees them better, but there is something about being
allowed to perform a certain way once the makeup is on and once the
costume is on Actors grow into costumes. So if you're turning up on set
and you're performing for a day or two and you're wearing a costume,
usually it's going to feel awkward and strange, usually it's got somebody
else's name stitched into it for me, it's usually Richard Roxburgh who’s
worn that costume before me in something but if it happens over a
longer period, then you build a relationship with that costume. Gary's
point was very interesting, that it's possible to become too comfortable
with that relationship. I'm wondering whether there's any other
profession that places such an emphasis on costume which isn't practical,
which isn't to protect (e.g. from blood like a butcher's hat), which tell a
story of their own and serve a function beyond the practicalities of
protective clothing. Many actors say once they put on robes or once they
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put on a crown, then it tells them how to how to speak. Stanislavski
speaks of that. Instructing a young actor in An Actor Prepares (1936), he
talks about taking the actor to the costume department and allowing the
actor to find the character. Once they’ve found the costume, the
character emerges from underneath. There is an element of truth that a
costume brings with it some kind of inherent change or adjustment in
behaviour. But on the other hand I am not convinced of the
Stanislavskian notion that if you find the costume that it will then tell you
how to perform and it will give you the character…
GW: …There is a practical disciplining of the body that occurs sometimes
through certain types of costume. Sometimes when we put on a suit a
suit is as much a legal costume as a gown and cufflinks, or (for men) a
tight tie, all of these things that we don't generally wear nowadays in
general life, we’re wanting not just to project an image of how we appear
outwardly but to project inwards on ourselves a conformity to a role. To
get your shirt on and do the cuffs up is a disciplining of the body that has
an effect on the mind.
SM: Another dimension is the disciplining of the body in space and the
role of the architecture of law plays in legal performance. We have spaces
like courtrooms and parliament. If we take law away from those
traditional buildings, how do you think that affects its performance?
GW: Let's for the sake of argument say that law’s performance is always
trying to persuade persuade your client that you mean the best for
them, persuade a witness that you will honour their account. If this is
essentially what lawyers do, then I think that it can happen outside of
traditional legal spaces. What we know more about is the traditional
spaces. Linda Mulcahy (2011) and a number of other commentators have
written about the operation of courtrooms and judicial spaces. They also
point us towards some of those gateway or peripheral spaces such as the
public waiting room to a court, the judicial chambers and the lawyers’
robing rooms. A comparison may be made to the foyer of the theatre,
the wings and the green room all those places that lead you into the
actual auditorium. Those marginal spaces are the architectural equivalent
of dress, a sort of border zone. What an actor does in the green room or
what the lawyer does in the robing room is deeply intrinsic to the
performance and law. These are spaces in which you gather yourself and
constitute yourself in a new costume but also in a new frame of mind.
SM: Felix, did you want to pick up on any of those points? You've had
experiences of shooting on location in legal precincts and I'm interested in
your views of what it was like to perform the lawyer's role in a court
space.
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FN: One thing that struck me when you say about filming in an actual
courtroom [was] we filmed in the old Magistrates Court up by Russell
Street opposite the police station, a fantastic sandstone building of
Melbourne's history. Not many people have the opportunity to go into
that; it’s been replaced in the meantime. It struck me that the reason
nobody goes in there except to film the occasional television drama is
because it's useful for nothing else. Here it is, prime real estate in the
middle of Melbourne, and it's good for nothing when it's not serving the
function for which it is designed. Richard Schechner (2003: 8-19) speaks
about theatre and sport and religion and games having a number of
things in common. One of the things is space. All these things have a
building, they take up real estate usually in the middle of a city, which
can do nothing else than what it does and is empty most of the time, but
when it's being used people flock to it. Think of the law in relation to
that. Legal buildings are often prime locations. Often they tend to be
quite busy on the day for a certain trial but empty otherwise. A law court
like a theatre is built with a specific purpose in mind.
SM: Felix, you've written about the process of your warm-up routine
before telling your story and how that is in itself a form of ‘private
performance’ that affects the public performance and also the way that it
is received by the audience (2010: 193). How do you think these routines
that people undertake before telling stories affect the story and its
reception?
FN: There are probably two things that happen with that routine and
they are counter to each other. One is to prepare the performer to get
into a place where they are ready to deal with anything that comes their
way. The other is to be in tune with the space itself so that they're able
to respond to the realities of what's happening around them. There's
something there in relation to the balance between truth and the
‘performance of truth’. There's a process of trying to touch base with
truth and reality within oneself without losing touch with the truth that's
around oneself. It has to do with aligning the performer's reality with the
reality around them but holding true to both of them and not allowing
one to hold sway entirely over the other. It has to do with touching base
with where a performance is happening geographically and whom the
audiences is and trying to find their truth and trying to find the truth of
the location and aligning that with the truth of the performer.
SM: You talk about the process of going through an internal personal
warm-up routine but then going off and chatting with others or going
around and exploring the stage. You call this process a desire to ‘seek to
reconnect with the real and the actual’ (2010: 189), which plays into this
question again of truth. What do you think it is about going in and
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grounding yourself in the space and having human interactions before
going on stage that is real and actual to you?
FN: Storytelling performance relies entirely on the ability to tell the story
to the audience. It's easy to slip a little bit too far into being caught up
with the performance itself. If that happens, you can still tell a convincing
story and you can still get a good round of applause at the end, but it
misses that point of adjusting to the audience. It has to do with
reminding the performer who the audience is, what the story is being
told, what the value is of the story, what the importance is of the story,
why this is happening, what the purpose of it is. In the same way that
again, to draw in Schechner before beginning a ritual it's important to
remember what the purpose of that ritual is rather than simply go
through the ritual. Simply going through a ritual brings its own rewards
but reminding oneself why this is happening, why this is important, why
this is of value [is critical].
SM: That brings me to the last question around what role the audience
plays in performance and how the audience plays a constitutive role in
performance. Gary, did you want to pick up on that idea from Felix
around how a particular element of the preparatory process before going
to speak is thinking about the audience? What role do you think the
audience plays within legal performance and what constitutive role do
you think they play?
GW: Talking about live performance, I think audience is everything. When
you're speaking to an actual live audience you have to have a sense of
responsiveness, as Felix is saying, a sense of awareness of when the
audience need to fidget or when you're losing them. It's essential to
constituting your performance. How can it be that, a Shakespearean
[play], a script that hasn't changed in 400 years and is often performed in
repertoire for months on end, can produce a different performance day
after day? Some performances are very palpably different to others. An
actor will come off stage thinking that went badly, another time they
think it went brilliantly. How? Why? A connection to the audience may
be the biggest factor... If that's the case, then it just shows you how
important it is, if lawyers are involved in any form of live performance,
that they try to connect with the audience. Who is the audience for a
lawyer is a nice question. For an advocate, more often than not their
primary audience is the judge. or it may be a jury. A lawyer is also
performing backwards to the people who are paying them. They want to
be seen to be performing in a certain way. If a lawyer’s performance is
backwards-facing to the client who is paying, then of course the audience
constitutes the performance genuinely. The lawyer’s paying client is not
like a theatrical audience who may have been tricked into paying for a
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bad performance for one night only, a lawyer’s paying audience is very
often a client who might withdraw their instruction or decide that they're
not going to (in the case of the instructing solicitor) instruct this barrister
again in the future. For lawyers and here we go back to the very first
thing that I said about the shield of Achilles as Homer describes it
you're performing for payment. That's a very crude way of reducing
what's going on, but professional actors and professional lawyers, as
opposed to my students who moot, are constituted in a very pragmatic
way by the pressure to perform professionally. That may be paid
pressure, it may be reputational pressure, it may be your own dignity in
your role, which is a pressure that's placed on you by a professional
sense of vocation. Whatever it is and you can be your own audience, of
course without an audience there is no relevant performance. The
audience is entirely constitutive of what the law does. What, we might
conjecture, is the difference between a real trial and a moot trial in which
the facts are realistic, the legal question is real, the legal authorities are
real, the judge is a real judge who has kindly agreed to come and decide
the issues, and the proceedings are even held in an actual court building?
If everything is real apart from the sense that there is pressure to
perform for a certain kind of stake-holding audience, then that stake-
holding audience is possibly what makes the difference between the real
performance and the notional performance or, to put it another way, the
difference between that which is real and socially-binding as opposed to
that which is notional and playful.
SM: There was a really salient point there around the idea of ‘without an
audience there is no relevant performance.’ I might shift that over to
Felix. Having performed both on film and television as well as in theatre,
what role do you think the audience plays and does it play a constitutive
role in performance?
FN: In terms of what Gary said, I agree you can perform for yourself. But
in terms of storytelling, it varies depending on the audience. What that
then means is that the decisions that the performer makes depends on
the audience. If we take a look at that in relation to law it suggests I’ll
avoid using the word truth because I appreciate that's a problematic
notion that what is right, just or fair depends on the audience.
Ultimately that's where the truth is that someone who's had a crime
committed against them feels vindicated or feels they've been listened
to. The truth of it lies amongst the people being served somehow by the
system. But it occurs to me that theatre is a more truthful trade than law.
In theatre it is possible to acknowledge that some things don't have
answers and that some things won’t unfold in a certain way. Theatre
delights in uncertainty and doubt. Theatre celebrates that while the law
doesn't so much. The law is grappling toward some kind of proof until
Exchanges : the Warwick Research Journal
200
Mulcahy. Exchanges 2017 4(2), pp. 189-200
eventually it gets to the point where something is found as proof. The
audience is at the heart of it, but really at the heart of it is the people
whose lives are being decided in these things. In theatre people's lives
aren't changed. People are affected, but they aren't changed in the same
way that they are in law.
References
Manheim, Camryn (2012), ‘I’m Not a Lawyer, But I Play One on T.V.’,
Berkley Journal of Entertainment and Sports Law, 1(2), 108-112
Mulcahy, Linda (2011), Legal Architecture, New York: Routledge.
Nobis, Felix (2004), Beowulf: An Adaptation, Cork: Bradshaw Books
Nobis, Felix (2010), ‘Un-telling Myself: Performance (Preparation) as
Research’ in Freeman, John (ed), Blood, Sweat and Theory, Faringdon:
Libri, pp. 185-94
Nobis, Felix (2016), Boy Out of the Country, Sydney: Currency Press
Schechner, Richard (2003), Performance Theory, Abingdon: Routledge
Stanislavski, Konstantin (1936), An Actor Prepares, New York: Theatre
Arts
Watt, Gary (2013), Dress, Law and Naked Truth, London: Bloomsbury
Watt, Gary (2016), Shakespeare’s Acts of Will: Law, Testament and
Properties of Performance, London: Bloomsbury
To cite this article:
Mulcahy, S. (2017). Acting Law | Law Acting: A Conversation with Dr Felix
Nobis and Professor Gary Watt. Exchanges: The Warwick Research Journal,
4(2), 189-200. Retrieved from:
http://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/article/view/146
... As actors well know, silence can be filled with action and unspoken dialogue as much as words or noise can. 20 Indeed, as legal scholar Gary Watt comments, "silence is so much more eloquent than words very often" 21 and, as Bret Rappaport suggests, "can be more persuasive than the speech that surrounds it. " 22 Watt goes on to suggest that in deploying silence in legal performance, lawyers need the knowledge and awareness of theatrical actors. ...
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Un-telling Myself: Performance (Preparation) as Research
  • Felix Nobis
Nobis, Felix (2004), Beowulf: An Adaptation, Cork: Bradshaw Books Nobis, Felix (2010), 'Un-telling Myself: Performance (Preparation) as Research' in Freeman, John (ed), Blood, Sweat and Theory, Faringdon: Libri, pp. 185-94
Shakespeare's Acts of Will: Law, Testament and Properties of Performance
  • Felix Nobis
Nobis, Felix (2016), Boy Out of the Country, Sydney: Currency Press Schechner, Richard (2003), Performance Theory, Abingdon: Routledge Stanislavski, Konstantin (1936), An Actor Prepares, New York: Theatre Arts Watt, Gary (2013), Dress, Law and Naked Truth, London: Bloomsbury Watt, Gary (2016), Shakespeare's Acts of Will: Law, Testament and Properties of Performance, London: Bloomsbury To cite this article: