Thursday, November 06, 2008
Both Gerard and Bernadette have found it a curious and at times emotional experience, handing over their roles and seeing others perform them. Inevitably the initial performances feel like copies of the original. Moves and gestures are altered more by vagaries of memory, biomechanics and the different presence bought by these new performers than active artistic interpretation. Yet extremely quickly, as spare processing power can be diverted from “what do I do now” to “how shall I do this”, fresh versions emerge. The once definitive performances of the devising cast enter a dialogue with alternative performances. It is a fascinating and often surprising thing to watch evolve – a reward for those crazy enough to watch the same show dozens of times in succession.
It turns out that Bucharest, despite presenting some challenges, is a great place to be performing these two shows. The country’s dramatic recent history provides both powerful content and an eager and engaged audience for Of All The People In All The World. Our sense is that Constance Brown is seen as more radical here than it is at home and responses in each direction thus feel heightened. However, what makes this almost the perfect city in which to perform this show is that when you leave the venue late at night and walk along the streets, there in the gutter, between the neon of the currency exchanges, casinos and sex shops on one side and streaking car headlights on the other, ignored by bustling pedestrians and screaming traffic alike, dozens of stooped figures, mostly women, in green work-wear, continually sweep leaves, litter and city dust from the streets. I look at each on of these and the flower sellers and prostitues and elderly beggers and think of Constance Brown in all her guises including those which never reached the show.