The monologues begin.
The audience is polite, attentive…they look serious. Unmentioned that DuPlessix Gray herself is a self-described anorectic, too: how much does that influence her reading of SW? How much of this reading of her is convenient to our reading of her?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN INSIDE HER BODY TO BECOME A LABORER. The stultification of human beings by labor, the putting of the body on the line, seems to resonate here when we know that the actor who endured Bauerntheater is here. How is he different from her?
They seem to be taking it in with less laughter than less night, though they were more active at the beginning: someone is eating candy, the bag is crinkling loudly. Is it warm in here? Is that why people seem a tad less animated? Slumped, chins on hands? David is the only one who looks perturbed: he frowns throughout this. When Gideon starts speaking, DL turns his frowning gaze there, too: is this the burden of the performance he is bearing? Is anyone aware that he is watching his handiwork and judging it as we watch him? He chimes in some comment about Jane Jacobs, mumbled, as if he is fine tuning the performance even as it is already set, and already taking place. Like my mother mouthing my words back to me as I speak them when I am a child, learning to speak to her.
DL is laughing tonight, smiling–if this is his endurance test, as Gideon mentioned before, then tonight the burden seems less heavy on him. How does or will this affect our performance experience? Our entertainment?
J does not mention that it is also the Pentecost while Weil is fleeing the Nazis and writing the play, the events of which take place during Pentecost. Expecting marriage, and receiving rape: how does this echo with SW’s experience? Is she Venice? Is Paris Venice? Is her unworthy soul as it awaits the salvation of a Christian god on the eve of a Pentecost from which she is excluded Venice?
The introduction of the characters elicits participatory and hearty laughter from this audience; the actors are reacting to this energy–you can see that the performances actually pick up the energy offered to them, and re-project it. I will hazard a guess and say that this audience for whatever reason “gets it”. They are alive! And DL reflects this too.
She is weak and lies unarmed at my feet–is Weil writing these lines, performed by JB as Jaffier, and thinking of her own soul? Of the endless tantrum and agony that is her intellect battling with her psyche?
A man in the audience puts his arm around the woman sitting next to him! That is how much energy there is in Jaffier’s speech–Jaffier as Jeff who seems ten times more sensitive than the sun ce soir. Du Venise.