Pavlos (pavlos) wrote,
Pavlos
pavlos

No theatre genius!

The other night I dreamt that I was watching an exceptionally clever piece of theatre, whose single scene consisted of a political debate by the leaders of a country about a matter of utmost importance. Although no introduction was given and the play started abruptly from a dark stage mid-debate, the matter clearly involved the timeless question of gong to war.

The politicians, who were some kind of parliament, were standing crowded in a long, twisting, featureless corridor-like dark room, and they wore mostly black. A bright spotlight illuminated this or that portion of the room in dusty, sweaty film-noire style, and those who were under the spotlight would speak their stance as forcefully as possible. The light would then move to the next speaker. The audience was seated only in the circle seats, and so could see at any time the lit portion of the corridor-parliament over its walls. The rest of the stage was dark.

The debate lasted a while and covered the whole spectrum of views, from the most reactionary to the most progressive. The politicians were arranged that way along the length of their corridor-parliament, and this was made apparent early on in the play by some well-placed exchanges between Left and Right speakers, with corresponding light movements. The text consisted of classic, relatively shallow rhetoric about the ethical and occasionally practical questions of war. So, throughout the play, the audience was conditioned to follow the light and predict quite accurately the position that would be argued.

Until the light in the room started to brighten, and you would suddenly notice the parliament wasn't simply a twisty long corridor but a twisty circular one, with the supposed extreme conservative and extreme progressive views being at the same place, separated by a thin partition. An optical illusion or secret movement of the stage concealed this previously. As this became plainly visible, the partition was removed, and you suddenly noticed that the positions expressed by the two poles were in essence the same. The lights continued to brighten and the walls of the corridor were removed, to reveal the politicians as executives of the same corporation.

Unfortunately, the dream did not furnish a single word of the masterfully crafted text that would hold this whole play together. So I can't direct it and become a theatre genius.
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