Thursday, September 4, 2014

First silence, then darkness

First silence; then darkness.  Those were the last words of the play tonight.

And what was the audience left with?

Silence.  Darkness.

And a tightening of the throat, the oesophagus, everything down to what felt like the stomach for me. A gripping presentation -- much better to watch on stage than in real life, I am sure.

As the play gathered itself into its close, I was thoughtful about the play within the play -- the children's nurse inviting us to take a look at the day's events to begin with, and then circling back to close the curtain on what we had seen while she let us make up our minds about what we thought about the events we had witnessed.

Reading the reviews.  Going out to see u-tube clips.  None of that really prepared me for the McCrory performance.  Thoughtful.  Intense.  The stain of tears on her face.  The weight of the body bags.  The clutching to her body of what she had lost.  That is one of the benefits of seeing the play HD-Live.  I get to see both the proscenium arch and I get the effect of those telling close-ups.  Those long pauses where we get to linger on the face in silence.

Did anyone else like the Greek chorus?  Stilted, yet flexible.  The costuming -- everywoman.  I kept looking for the voices. Or at least who the voices were coming from. Only a few times could I see who was speaking.

I liked the abstractness of the body movements in the chorus, as well as those of Kreusa, the new bridge.

And oh, the original music.  At one point didn't the instruments sound like a freight train coming to a sudden screeching halt.  Or have I been out to the lake too long.

I don't know if the laughter was from the theatre audience, or from the people who were in the movie house.  When Jason's sons were glued to their electronic devices, the laughter might have come from both places.

Would I go again?  Oh yes.  And on that point, more in the next post.


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