The Brag

Sydney Festival: Six Characters in Search of an Author (UK)

In Arts, Brag 346 (January 25), Sydney Festival 2010 on January 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Headlong Theatre's production of Six Characters In Search of an Author.


Seymour Centre
Six Characters In Search Of An Author (UK)
Runs until January 31

Play the part of you. Play the part of something true. And what could be more true to life than one’s own reality? Not some sham representation of a life played by actors with created emotions, but the real thing. The real characters destined to live in the same fixed way and be remembered as such. This is the premise of Six Characters in Search of an Author (SCSA) as six dour characters, abandoned by their author mid-story, enter the stage begging a film producer to tell, and consequently finish, their story.

Is it a story they wish to have told, or is it their lives? As the play advances and the history of sexual encounters and ruined relationships that has lead to their current state is re-lived, their reality is questioned. Are they merely fictitious characters or are they in fact more real than we?

Written in 1921 by Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello, this probing piece of absurdist theatre sparked much controversy before finding its place in the theatrical canon. But this isn’t Pirandello’s play as it was delivered then. Headlong Theatre’s 21st-Century, multimedia adaptation is a poignant piece that transcends theatre (and film) conventions, and chills with its unerring tepidity – particularly by the commendable performance of the almost mute children.

SCSA not only updates this play in time, it builds on it in meaning. Extending the themes past Pirandello’s third act, SCSA presents questions about the realm of the real, the role of the author and the validity of the entertainment industry that, though nowhere near as controversial as the original, leaves the audience with plenty to think about.

4/5
Stephanie Yip

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