fourth wall

(redirected from Break the fourth wall)
Also found in: Idioms.

fourth wall

n.
1. The imaginary barrier that is considered to separate the audience from the characters in a play or other live performance: an actor who broke the fourth wall by directly addressing an audience member.
2. A similar imaginary barrier that is considered to separate a viewer from a film or other recorded performance: traditional films that maintain the illusion of the fourth wall.
3. A similar imaginary barrier regarding as separating a text from its readers.

[From its use in the theater, where it is likened to a wall that would complete the enclosure of a proscenium stage.]

fourth wall

n
1. (Broadcasting) an imaginary barrier between a television programme, film, or play and its audience
2. (Film) an imaginary barrier between a television programme, film, or play and its audience
3. (Theatre) an imaginary barrier between a television programme, film, or play and its audience
4. (Broadcasting) break the fourth wall (esp of a character in a television programme, film, or play) to refer to, acknowledge, or address the audience, usually for comedic effect or as an avante-garde technique
5. (Film) break the fourth wall (esp of a character in a television programme, film, or play) to refer to, acknowledge, or address the audience, usually for comedic effect or as an avante-garde technique
6. (Theatre) break the fourth wall (esp of a character in a television programme, film, or play) to refer to, acknowledge, or address the audience, usually for comedic effect or as an avante-garde technique
[C19: referring to the three visible walls of a stage, television, or (sometimes) film set]
Translations
vierde wand
References in periodicals archive ?
Throughout the play and especially during the battle scenes, actors will break the fourth wall of theater and interact with the audience - weaving in and out of the crowd as they clash swords and dodge mimed arrows.
They break the fourth wall at times and introduce numerous sight gags -- delivered with style and aplomb by artists Porto and Wells -- including recurring appearances of bizarrely intriguing horse-donkey hybrids.
He also has a tendency to break the fourth wall and converse with the audience - the post-credit scene was basically just Deadpool telling us all to leave the theatre and go home.
And while she didn't break the fourth wall you felt as if you had pulled up a stool to join her for coffee as she acted her monologue.
It manages to do what few other games of its type have - break the fourth wall funnily and successfully.
Deadpool is deemed as an unconventional Marvel Comics character because of his weird humor and his ability to break the fourth wall.
As the financial concepts at the heart of the plot can be difficult for the average viewer to grasp, director Adam McKay often has actors break the fourth wall to directly explain to the audience in plain language terms like credit default swap and collateralized debt obligation.
But no one else in the museum's atrium followed suit, and soon enough I felt embarrassed for being the only one to break the fourth wall, as if I'd suddenly turned into the schmuck who recently became a social-media laughingstock for trying to charge his phone using the onstage outlet of a Broadway set.
The game is laced with quips that break the fourth wall, calling out tired conventions of video games, such as repetitive fetch quests and disembodied narrators.
Mock newsreel footage and knowing nods to the camera all serve to break the fourth wall and make the viewer readily aware of the stylised fiction we are witnessing.
Poppers have since outlasted vice squads, hankie codes, and handlebar mustaches, but they no longer break the fourth wall.