Friday, March 16, 2007

Yawning Emptiness....

.... in the theatre tonight. Friday night is not good for getting theatre audiences. On the programmme was 'Styx'. Seen it before, but love the music by Gia Kancheli, which this play without words is based on.

It's a bit weird, now, going to the theatre after three helpings of Hamlet. You see an actor on the stage, and think - 'oh, there's Hamlet' (or Polonius, Laertes, Claudius, Gertrude, that other girl, and Hamlet's ghost). The first time I saw the show there were just a bunch of actors on the stage. More to the point you think that 'Hamlet' has all the main roles in the show, when in fact in this piece there aren't really main characters, particularly. Though 'Hamlet' did get to fry the eggs and burn his mouth eating them, before putting his head in the gas oven - gasp! Or rather not....

Also realised how much the producer, Robert Sturua, has pulled apart Kancheli's 'Styx'. Not surprising really, considering that it only probably lasts half an hour or so - the music can hardly be slowed down. So there are lots of gaps between bursts of music. It needs to be said that Kancheli's music, for all the wonderful that it is, is heavy on the eardrums - some reviewers in amazon also thought so. It has moments of extreme quiet and extreme noise. Makes it really hard to listen to it on the home stereo. In this, wordless, play that might have been a good thing - the actors are not dancers (you are not so good on synchronicity, boys - banging your feet on the floor sounds like a scatter gun, not like a single shot), and the audience needs to be shaken up every now and again. But I wondered if Sturua has not only cut up the piece, but jiggled it around a little, with the bits not being in the right order? Particularly at the end where the piece has quite a few bars of extreme quietness followed by a BIG BANG of noise. I used to listen to it whilst cycling to work in Vilnius, and could never hear the quiet bits over the traffic, so kept being shocked by the explosions ... could have sworn there are two bits of quietness followed by two bursts of sound - but the last burst never happened in this piece, so there was a bit of confusion in the audience about when the piece had finished and we should applaud.