Polyphonic characterisation: a presentation

Practice Research Forum
STICKY THICK – Thinking through practice

Tuesday 7th June, 2016
United Reformed Church

As part of the Whitstable Biennale in partnership with the University of Kent, and in collaboration with performers, Gretchen Egolf, and Jamie Chandler, Sinéad will experiment with the play text The Night Just Before the Forests (La Nuit juste avant les forêts) written in 1977 by the pathbreaking French theatre playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès (1948-1989).

This one-person play is written as a stream-of-consciousness appeal to an uncertain audience, delivered by an isolated young Arab man in a hostile city. Koltès said he wrote the play ‘like a Bach fugue’, less a linear progression leading to a resolution than the exploration of an increasingly dense and complex space created through variations of its motifs.

Rushe and Egolf’s working hypothesis for a new production of Night is to stage the monologue as a fugue with multiple voices. In this presentation, they will explore the implications of a ‘stereophonic’ articulation of character, and whether it is possible to liberate ‘characterisation’ from its location at an identifiable and primary centre without losing its authenticity.