DL: earlier somone talked about theatre where people are ‘strapped down’ – another model of political theatre is something like Blasted …
M12 offers an awesome first-hand account of the Soho Rep production of Blasted … with different reactions: “what the fuck!” “I know where she’s coming from!” “I didn’t care!”
DL: but what does it mean if you leave a night like that and “loving it”?
W1: Do you carry that story around in your head with regard to horrors in the news?
M12: I think you take it in even more, because you’ve got this poetic window into those kinds of experience.
DL: it’s an artaud model as opposed to brecht, if you’re being assaulted – and you’re paying for it –
CW: post-theatre stress disorder?
M11: We’ve been debating between ‘propagandart’ and theatre that allows for more points of view … but Weil’s essay on the Iliad is all about the cycle of violence, and how both sides lose. What I’m getting out of this is her pacificism – that war is horrible, that nothing good is going to come of this.
W11: what is it that she was tinkering with? she wasn’t debating the same questions that we’re debating here. how does the formal artifice influence the politics?
M4: she didn’t just want to suffer, but she also wanted to see herself suffer. after 9/11 I crossed over – I wanted to breathe what was in the air – I have a flashback of hearing the news – it’s a kind of private theatre, a perpetual state of emergency, that seems like a relevant echo.
M13: it seems like all kinds of gestures – a song, or the violence of Sarah Kane – can break through the surface. the old theatrical forms don’t reach us anymore, it seems.
DL: the apparent contradiction of watching “real” suffering in performance art and feeling no empathy, and watching “unreal” suffering in theatre and feeling tons of it …