In Praise of Sideways


Storytelling Journeys of the Ruth Kanner Theatre Group

Edited by Adi Chawin and Richard Gough


Published by Performance Research Books 2023. Soft cover, 430 pages, full colour images.

RRP £39.50. CPR Bookshop price £35.00


SKU: 9781906499143 Category:


In Praise of Sideways is the first comprehensive attempt to present the virtuoso performance practices of the Ruth Kanner Theatre Group.

Throughout twenty-five years of innovative work, RKTG – based in Tel Aviv but also performing all over Israel and internationally – has perfected a unique form of storytelling theatre. Their theatre practice, rehearsed in dark times, carries traces of the catastrophic political situation that surrounds it. And yet, it also holds on, against the odds, to hope – a hope that endures in elements of the present that cannot be reduced to sense and meaning and therefore, as gestures in the sense of Kafka and Benjamin, point to a different future.
Nikolaus Müller-Schöll, Professor and Chair, Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies, Goethe-University in Frankfurt/Main, Germany

The performance language Kanner has been developing aims at investigating markers of Israeliness and the conflicts, beliefs and hopes that are encoded in them: the Hebrew language and its conscious and unconscious layers; fatal struggles and their mundane expressions; landscapes and what lies beneath their surfaces and textures. Kanner dismantles the historical, social and cultural aspects of place and time and transforms them into active entities on stage: speech patterns, physical gestures, road trip sing-along songs, shared mythologies, spells, incantations, folk dances, iconic figures, even
foods. These elements – markers of a specific ‘localness’ – are incorporated into Kanner’s work and establish a deep connection between stage and audience, people and place.
From the Introduction to this book: ‘Stepping Sideways’

Ruth Kanner explores a wide variety of texts in incredible detail. It is a process of trial and error, where languages, histories and identities are stretched and challenged, resulting in work that speaks to a time of violent conflict. This book illuminates those processes and chronicles their triumphs and tribulations.
Misako Ueda, Artistic Director, Theater X (Cai), Tokyo, Japan

Additional information

Weight 1.25 kg