Accidental Pain



Within a performative context accidental pain often occurs as a result of incompetence. This incompetence leads to the infliction of pain on either the performer’s own body or on the body of another performer. There are also occasions when the same accident causes pain to both the protagonist and another in the same moment. Therefore, this chapter will deal with two kinds of accidental pain: that which is self-inflicted and that which is inflicted on others. In each of these it must be clear to the audience that no malice or harm was intended by the perpetrator. Pain that is delivered with intention will be dealt with in Chapters 6 and 7. Intentionality or lack of it is a key influence in how we respond to the depiction of pain and how we judge those who are suffering and those who have inflicted the pain. Whilst accidental pain is usually the result of incompetence and leads to the protagonist tripping or falling or bumping into things, there are occasions where the accident is caused by a misbehaving prop or object. Examples such as these will not be dealt with here but will be considered in Chapter 5.


Comic Performance Sound Effect Performance Frame Live Performance Golf Ball 
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© Louise Peacock 2014

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