Saturday, January 30, 2016


                                                             Woyzeck (pic from smh review)

Georg Büchner penned his incomplete Woyzeck in 1836. Same old same completely fucked up old. I was keen to see it. To revisit that story with its terrifyingly odd yet they're-walking-amongst us characters; they're in the paper every day, sitting next to you on the bus, mowing your lawn.

And I'm mad about going to Carriageworks - the dark tree-lined streets on the edge of the University precinct (I know that edge, six years of it, and wish I'd appreciated it then but blah blah), gentrification on the creep and tickety-booed-up student residentials, with parking meters, no blacks. Down the steps into the vast old railway spaces still holding off from politically correct lighting unlike the SOH which has completely gone no-falling-down-steps anymore, and its hideous.

Inside, there's all these wonderful things made from bottle tops, cardboard, and wonderful every-day stuff by El Anatsui and it gets to be hypnotic after a while. Lost in space.

The Woyzeck came from Hamburg's Thalia, via Copenhagen and Robert Wilson and Tom Waites and Kathleen Brennan, now directed by Jette Steckel, and played out with varying degrees of perilousness on a cantilevering huge steel framed rope net as the snakes-and-ladders game we have landed in, and the concrete below. Dialogue in German with subtitles, and Tom Waites sung in English.

I liked it especially for its relevance, for the ordinary not-so-poor people sitting there transfixed by the horror of what can happen to the ordinary especially-poor people completely flummoxed by circumstance, inadequacies, lust, fear, oppression, outcasting, and abuse. And I had yet to see The Golden Age" which we saw last week - the desparately sad story of the lost Tasmanian tribe sucked back into 'civilisation' and destroyed by its filthy backwardness (civilisation that is). Oh, and also OA's The Rabbits (white invasion) which we caught a few weeks ago is also in the spectrum.

But nothing reinforces the tragedy of this ever recurring domestic and personal upheaval more than Helen Garner's 'This House of Grief - The Story of a Murder Trial" which I am well into right now. I am reading it very slowly.

"I saw it on the TV news. Night. Low foliage. Water, misty and black. Blurred lights, a chopper. Men in hi-vis and helmets. Something very bad here. Something frightful. Oh Lord, let this be an accident."

The immediacy of her reporting brings too vividly, really too vividly, all those things you didn't want to read or didn't make it into the papers. The cold dark black water, the frothy mouthed dead boys, the process of the law, the aching sadness of picking apart the lives of those who have already lost.

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