ARTYFACTS: The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Brecht in Berlin
I had seen The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany in Berlin late last year, unfortunately in German, making it merely a spectacle, rather than something I could get my teeth into. The dancing and music were great, the dialogue incomprehensible. However, it was my first visit to the famous Komische Oper, quite a theatre.

Brecht in Brighton
Brecht is not always to my liking and I wonder if this play would be staged at all if it were not for A-level drama students. A large proportion of the audience were in groups from schools and colleges. This is to be applauded but one wonders if it is the demands of the curriculum that keeps ceratin plays being staged, rather than their intrinsic worth or non-studying audience demand. In any case, they all seemed to love it. I had my doubts.

The singer walked on and looked like a camp cross between of Alex Kapranos and Ian Curtis. However, his singing and Ivor Cutler-like organ playing was excellent. You couldn't keep your eyes off him. The plot suffers from being under the sway of dialectics and swings and lurches forward to it's conclusion where the final dialectical move with the baby in the circle takes place. We all felt a little twinge of guilt as the noose appeared - the executions of Sadaam and his henchmen had been in the last week.

Stiletto in my heart
I was fascinated to read in the programme that Brecht was buried with a stiletto in his heart and in a steel coffin, so that he wouldn't be eaten by worms!

17 January - Corn Exchange Brighton


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