English Literature / Drama GCSE: What is Physical Theatre?

An insight into this theatrical form and an explanation of how it was used in 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'.

Scott Graham from theatre company Frantic Assembly explains physical theatre as a dynamic way of exploring the subtext of a story, including a range of body language, choreography and dance.

Footage from the National Theatre’s production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' in performance and rehearsal along with interviews with the cast and creative team explore how physical theatre can be used to tell a story.

This short film is from the BBC series, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: From Page to Stage, made in collaboration with the National Theatre.

It explores how Mark Haddon’s much-loved novel became a multi-award-winning theatre production.

Interviews with the playwright, director and cast and footage from both rehearsal and performance reveal the process of bringing the story alive on stage.

Teacher Notes

This short film provides a useful introduction to physical theatre and how it can be used in performance.

If studying the play as a set text, students could be encouraged to explore how the scenes were created in performance.

This short film could be used to prompt ideas on how the scene of Christopher travelling can be performed.

If analysing the play as a piece of live theatre, students could be tasked with analysing the use of movement and physical theatre in the performance.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching GCSE English literature and drama in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 5 in Scotland.

More from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: From Page to Stage

Creating Atmosphere
Creating Comedy and Tension
Design Elements
Ensemble Acting
Adapting a Novel for Theatre
Christopher and his Dad
Christopher and his Mum
Christopher and Siobhan
Who is Christopher Boone?