Friday, February 26, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
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Discover the new way to give to Border Crossings. Give as you Live.
Friday, February 12, 2010
The best work I've seen by Brook has been fired by the energy of the immediate - like his Sizwe Banzi is Dead a couple of years ago (admittedly a bit late to protest against apartheid - but it felt like a lived piece of work). Where I part company from him is in his belief that there is something to be expressed through theatre that is "universal", and that stories from Africa and Asia are valuable not for what they say about the context from which they arise, but for "humanity". Of course, the West has much to learn from Africa (and vice-versa), but the reason for this is the difference between us, not the similarity. In his post-show talk (which was a tour de force, I may say), Brook explained that his first attempt to dramatise this story had been "very African", whereas now he was working with "humanity". In practice, this meant that the two wise men were played by Palestinian actors.....
Now - there's no doubt that these guys are very fine performers. But don't tell me they related to the story just because they were "human". And don't tell me that the audience simply read them as "human". Their presence was a clear and immediate reminder of another political conflict arising from a religious background. There's nothing "universal" about this resonance - and it's no less "spiritual" for that. Our spirituality is at its most profound when it engages with the actualities of our existence.
By contrast, I also went to the press night of The 14th Tale at the National. Rare to see the National take on something like this - a solo performance by a young black man, largely in the form of performance poetry. His name is Inua Ellams, and he manages to be very accurate in his portrayal of Nigeria, England and Ireland; of childhood and young adulthood; of family... and very funny indeed.