Sandeep Purao’s Blog

February 10, 2008

The hour we knew nothing of each other

Filed under: Art — sandeep @ 5:53 am

National Theatre in London is slated to offer UK’s first professional production of this 90-minute play, which elevates people-watching to a serious play (now, is that not an oxymoron). Here is how FT reports it:

“Peter Handke’s experimental drama offers 90 minutes of wordless action on stage; 450 characters pass through a town square, but not one of them speaks. There is a script, but it consists of 30 pages of intricate instructions from the Austrian playwright (translated by Meredith Oakes) about the way the figures behave as they traverse the space. … In essence, the play turns people-watching into a poignant study of urban life. Characters scurry, slope or stumble across the space, absorbed in their own dilemmas. … The articulation of human experience in language is, of course, one of the core attractions of great drama. But Handke, suggests Macdonald, makes you look at the moments that don’t and can’t reach articulation. There are exchanges between characters, but they are outside of language.”

From the Financial Times, 2 Feb 2008, accessed 10 Feb 2008.

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