By Marina Carr
In the Swan – by the RSC
What an extraordinarily meaty bit of theatre this is and one that I’d be selfish not to share.
For those of you whom have yet to encounter me, here’s one for free – recollecting and retaining aren’t my great points – either is pronunciation of anything greater (and including at times) one syllable words…so you can just imagine my exceptional pleasure when I sat down to discover that Hecuba (the play, the character and the production) was 20x better than watching England versus Wales; and by far the best thing I did in September. And…here I type 2.5 weeks later about my encounter and its stayed with me, every inch of it and I’m better for it.
It’s forceful and the audience can’t escape from it. You are compelled to sit up, listen, watch and learn.
It turns your stomach, shocks and isn’t scared to seek out and show the complexity of human thought and behaviour.
It’s also tender.
Sub-text is shared potently by the playwright’s command of 1st, 2nd and 3rd person narration.
And with little reliance on props and the set – you actually engage further – and your imagination has a field day.
Ahh…and the actors. When you beg your local theatre to get this production (if Stratford Upon Avon isn’t convenient), demand the original cast come to. And that includes the Director and the rest of the creative team. It was so superbly executed.
And you know it’s great when you come home and do Research
…with some of it resulting in me crazy-grinning in a lecture room this past Monday, inwardly skipping and being blown away by Marina Carr. Sadly, I didn’t have the courage to tell her how fabulous she is, but I did get to learn a little about her approach and passion for the subject. Her ability to deliver ‘the continual present’ in her drama is no small feat and listening to an actual playwright read their creation, is a huge gift. I know…I’m very lucky to have been there and am very grateful to her.
Hecuba runs until January 2016.
(image sourced via google images)