Artaud in Wonderland
Antonin Artaud died with one shoe in his hand and a thousand ideas in his head. Allegedly created in collaboration with the great, dead, mad Frenchman, by means of seance, this one-man show takes its departure from imagining Artaud's last moments of consciousness. Every sound that Artaud hears, he bends to a new adventure to suspend his death. Artaud (1896-1948), creator of the Theatre of Cruelty, one of the biggest influences in the theatre of the last century, insisted in his later years that Lewis Carroll had plagiarised his writings, even though Artaud was but 2 years old when Carroll died. In his own Wonderland, which this show portrays, Artaud confronts his Double, has dinner with Hitler, becomes a Marx Brother, meets a Native American tribe....Reminiscent of Alice's illogical encounters, the show is also a faithful portrayal of Artaud's refusal to lie down in the face of failure, poverty, and the violence of dubious psychiatric practices, notably Electric Shock Treatment. Perhaps his greatest legacy is his throwing into question of the way 'mad' people are treated - himself speaking as a 'madman'. Artaud in Wonderland
was originally devised and privately performed at the Metway Studios of The Levellers in Brighton. It features highly unusual lighting forms - many hand-held and mobile lights - which produce a subversive and mutating Wonderland. The originally constructed soundtrack is also novel in that its distortions give rise to the hallucinations and actions of Artaud.
Archive :: production:T0197802042, play:S022644108, venue:V855