This book traces the career of the Russian revolutionary theatre director, Vsevolod Meyerhold, from his early years as a founding member of the Moscow Art Theatre with Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko, through his Symbolist period, his experiments with commedia dell'arte and other popular forms, and his glittering triumphs in the tsarist imperial theatres. Leach examines Meyerhold at the height of his fame and influence after the Russian Revolution and during his demise in the Stalin era. He describes in detail Meyerhold's 'system' of theatre: his attitude to the audience, the place of the forestage, 'biomechanics' and actor training, and the importance of the mise-en-scene. Finally, Leach explores Meyerhold's legacy, which can be detected in the work of Brecht, Eisenstein, Peter Brook and others.
As the first comprehensive account of Meyerhold's approach to the theatrical event, it will be of interest to students and scholars of theatre studies, directors and theatregoers. The book contains numerous illustrations from productions and a chronology of Meyerhold's works.