Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Opening Night

Hello All! Tonight is opening night! I thought maybe before you head into the theatre I should give you a little clue as to what the production design is going to be, lest you walk into the theatre and go "huuuuuhh?". Most of what I'm about to write is already in my designer's notes in the programme, but isn't it much easier reading it off a brightly lit screen than squinting in the dark at 12-point American Typewriter font? On another note, please purchase the programme - unlike other programmes, we do have some juicy bits in it. (Available at the Pentas 2 merchandise counter for RM 5.)

So. Designing Beckett has been a trip, to say the least. I wasn't and still isn't, very familiar with Beckett's work. I knew he was a writer of absurdist plays, and I read the college staple - Waiting for Godot. 3 years on from my History of Modern Theatre class, I had forgotten most of what I'd learnt about Beckett. So I read Endgame like how I read every script that comes my way. Except this time around, the usual methods of dissecting a script didn't result in any aesthetic epiphanies. You see, the more I tried to interpret the text in allegorical or symbolic terms, the less it made sense to me. Hints of a Brechtian approach popped up, but feeling as unsure as I was, I just dismissed it as a whim. I sat on it for a few days, trying to put something down on paper, researching at the same time. Everything I read about Beckett just confused me even more - he was known for his distrust of any kind of exegesis and was notoriously evasive when it came to assigning any sort of definitive meaning. If that's the case, then why are there so many bloody opinions or critical definitions by the hundreds of so-called Beckett experts? What, really, is the 'Beckettian ideal'? GAH!

So, feeling extremely confused and a little disheartened, I had a chat with Gavin and asked him if he would be adverse to the idea of workshopping the set (i.e. we develop the set as rehearsals progressed...) After all, the set consists of - a chair on castors, 2 windows and 2 'ashbins. The question was how we were going to place them, how big should the windows be? etc. I didn't know a thing - all I knew was that I wanted desperately to steer away from symbolism and create a purely functional set. Of course, Gavin agreed (at which point I removed my stiletto from his crotch.) Why the aversion to symbolism, well, I guess you'll have to come and watch the play to fully understand it. When you watch Endgame being performed, its meaning is inherently contained within Beckett’s textual and physical choreography. To design something symbolic would immediately contextualize the play, which I felt, would not lend itself to the verbal imagery. My goal was that everything on stage is not there to tell you anything, but they’re to help the actors tell their stories. Everything on stage is there because the actors need it, and because it’s mentioned in the script.

When we moved into our rehearsal space, links between Beckett and Brecht began to appear. First, I started noticing lines in the dialogue that were clearly addressing an audience, and then I started noticing Beckett’s choreography of Clove’s movements and how they were never superfluous or gratuitous. Both of these, from a design perspective, complement Brecht’s philosophies of action design and the alienation effect. Funny that, how things come full circle.

Anyway, after weeks of experimentation, we’ve decided to go the route of keeping with Beckett’s original set directions while employing Brechtian methods of execution. I’ve attempted to separate the audience and the action. For once you are not invited into the world of these characters, but merely remain as the spectator, the voice of rational being who is liable to simply observe. The whole set is exposed, as with the workings of the theatre, to reiterate: This is a play, these, its actors and you, the audience.


Blogger mamasan said...

ooooh... memories of cold mornings in with a slightly damp and vaguely cute theatre prof... theatre theory, what a delight!

9:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool blog, interesting information... Keep it UP free maps for wedding invitations home acne treatments Fancy wedding shoes Cash emarketing money millions fast finances 6-figure Zithromax z pak 26p xxxxx

12:55 pm  
Blogger oakleyses said...

christian louboutin shoes, kate spade outlet, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp pas cher, longchamp outlet, nike roshe, jordan shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tiffany jewelry, chanel handbags, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, louboutin pas cher, polo ralph lauren, christian louboutin uk, jordan pas cher, air max, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, sac longchamp pas cher, nike outlet, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton, nike free, michael kors pas cher, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, uggs on sale, polo outlet, nike air max, christian louboutin, nike free run, tiffany and co, nike air max, prada handbags, burberry pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, gucci handbags, tory burch outlet

11:49 am  
Blogger oakleyses said...

coach outlet, polo lacoste, uggs outlet, coach purses, nike air force, hollister uk, timberland pas cher, guess pas cher, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet, true religion outlet, nike air max uk, sac hermes, hogan outlet, true religion jeans, north face uk, nike roshe run uk, burberry handbags, nike tn, vans pas cher, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet online, ray ban uk, nike free uk, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, lululemon canada, nike blazer pas cher, coach outlet store online, uggs outlet, michael kors, burberry outlet, hollister pas cher, north face, converse pas cher, new balance, true religion outlet, ralph lauren uk, mulberry uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, oakley pas cher, nike air max, nike air max uk, replica handbags

11:52 am  
Blogger oakleyses said...

beats by dre, louboutin, hermes belt, iphone cases, chi flat iron, wedding dresses, gucci, giuseppe zanotti outlet, mont blanc pens, celine handbags, nike air max, vans, north face outlet, soccer jerseys, new balance shoes, lululemon, bottega veneta, ray ban, converse outlet, asics running shoes, hollister clothing, herve leger, north face outlet, abercrombie and fitch, valentino shoes, hollister, ghd hair, reebok outlet, nike trainers uk, converse, timberland boots, soccer shoes, vans outlet, nike air max, oakley, nfl jerseys, mcm handbags, insanity workout, mac cosmetics, p90x workout, baseball bats, instyler, hollister, babyliss, nike roshe run, jimmy choo outlet, nike huaraches, longchamp uk, ralph lauren, ferragamo shoes

11:55 am  
Blogger oakleyses said...

toms shoes, canada goose jackets, juicy couture outlet, pandora uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, coach outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, marc jacobs, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, ugg uk, ugg, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, supra shoes, montre pas cher, swarovski, links of london, barbour uk, moncler, canada goose outlet, moncler outlet, pandora charms, louis vuitton, barbour, louis vuitton, canada goose, lancel, ugg pas cher, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, juicy couture outlet, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, canada goose, moncler, swarovski crystal, wedding dresses, replica watches, karen millen uk, louis vuitton, moncler outlet, moncler uk, canada goose, moncler, doudoune moncler, hollister, moncler

11:58 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home