• A theatrical method developed by the avant-garde Russian directorV. E. Meyerhold, in which actors were totally controlledby the director's decisions. Meyerhold used no proscenium or curtainfor his productions and created a bare forestage on which he manoeuvredthe players like puppets. He had been trained in the Moscow ArtTheatre but subsequently rebelled against the Stanislavskyschool of acting by telling his actors to suppress their personalemotions in order to concentrate on gesture and movement. They actedwithout make-up and all wore blue overalls.

    Meyerhold first used bio-mechanics in a production of FerdinandCrommelynck's The Magnificent Cuckold in 1922. In Gogol's TheGovernment Inspector (1926) he went so far as to replace his actorswith dummies in the last scene. The individualistic Meyerhold eventuallyfell into disfavour with the Soviet authorities. In 1938 he and hiswife were arrested; both subsequently died in circumstances that havenever been properly explained.