Monday, August 28, 2017

A girl stands dressed in a black dress and black brogues staring sternly at the audience. The stage is dark. The only light is on her. Suddenly she smiles.

She counts the number of pieces of brick on the stage. There is a stack of bricks and some pieces to her right. She counts the number of latecomers to the show (one). She counts the number of ladies in the audience and gives up after ten (there are many more). She counts the number of French people in the audience and miraculously concludes that there is only one - her.

She picks up two pieces of brick and holds them with her arms stretched out, one in each hand. She counts and tells the audience to tell her when to stop. Someone compassionate (I wonder if it's the director who showed us in) tells her to stop when she gets to four. She puts the bricks down.

She dances a bit. It's not tap but that's the closest description that I know. She sort of stamps her feet in a variety of compelling rhythms. She takes a mallet and she smashes some of the bricks.

She counts a variety of other things including the number of her unborn children (three). She does this in both English and French. (Maybe she somehow knows she is the only French person in the room.) She says the names of my unborn children are unknown even by God. She says the names of various other things are unknown even by God. She says this in both English and French.

She dances a bit. She smashes some more bricks. She screams into a nearby microphone. She sweeps the bricks into a large box attached to one side of the stage. The stage is square and raised and on two sides of it (the audience sides as it's diagonally placed) are many large boxes jutting out from the stage. An extension of it. One contains gravel. One seems to contain rubble. (And then more rubble when she puts the bricks into it.)

We're half an hour in now. This is all accompanied by live music that is sometimes guitar, drums, electronic or all of the above. And it's beautifully lit.

She climbs into one of the large boxes which is mostly filled with water. She lies in the water and sings (beautifully, I might add) into another conveniently placed microphone. Then she clambers out and gets into another box that seems to contain sand and wriggles around so it covers her.

Then she starts lifting up pieces of wood on the stage and re-organising them. Sh stacks a bunch of planks so they conceal one of two stacks of lights placed to the left (her left) of the stage. She lifts some more boards and they are mirrored on the reverse and she stacks them, mirrors towards the audience.

She dances a bit more.

The lights go out.


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