a performance dialogue

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

prefatory note to Strindberg's A Dream Play

[Between now and my last post I have cycled to work (Shef) and passed the window of the Oxfam bookshop. What caught my eye was a book called 'Systems of Rehearsal: Stanislavsky, Brecht, Grotowski and Brook'. So I went in and came out with that + 4 others on theatre. 'Playhouse and Cosmos: Shakespearean theatre as metaphor'; 'Devising Theatre: a practical and theoretical handbook', 'Public Performance in the Greek Theatre' and 'Twentieth Century Theatre - a sourcebook'. A random selection - presumably some student's cast-offs but they're all in their various ways mines for nuggets about ways of thinking about the space of the theatre and since that was what I'd just been writing I saw these books as a kind of cosmic gift (that cost £47!). Anyway I will share what nuggets I do find before donating the books back to Oxfam. :-) The first one here:]

'As he did in his previous dream play, so in this one the author has tried to imitate the disconnected but seemingly logical form of the dream. Anything may happen; everything is possible and probable. Time and space do not exist. On an insignificant background of reality, imagination designs and embroiders novel patterns: a medley of memories, experiences, free fancies, absurdities and improvisations.'

'The characters split, double, multiply, vanish, solidify, blur, clarify. But one consciousness reigns above them all - that of the dreamer; and before it there are no secrets, no incongruities, no scruples, no laws...'

I love the idea of characters that split, vanish , multiply or blur; and the 'insignificant background of reality'.

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