22 September 2016

Poetry Thursday - Poetry House Live

"To a human being a house is not just a house, it is also a place of meanings, associations and memories. This is even more true of the houses where great poets have lived, the settings for their lives and their stories. Poetry House Live uses physical theatre to bring to life these meanings and these stories, in a show that is by turns funny, trai and surreal" (Graham Henderson, chief Executive, The Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation)

"An original production featuring seven stories about seven famous European poets and exploring the places they called home at key moments in their lives. Each story has been adapted from new writing by some of Europe's leading playwrights."

The hall had four banks of chairs, each facing in to a central square. In the middle of the front row of each was a performers' chair. Performers, the GoodDog Theatre Co, were Louise-Clare Henry, Julien Nguyen Kinh, Nouch Papazian and Simon Gleave. Minimal props and maximal versatility.

Incomplete (Luis Munoz) - a one-act drama about the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, set inside the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid around 1926, just as Lorca is embarking on his career. (Props: top hat and cane)

Croquis Nocturne (Adam Gordon) - offers a window into Rimbaud and Verlaine's visionary relationship while they lived in Camden at 8 Royal College Street in 1873. (Props: an imaginary key, imaginary wine bottle and glasses)

Les Lesbiennes (Richard Dalla Rosa) - invites us behind the closed doors of a bedroom at the Hotel Pimodan and explores where the French poet Charles Baudelaire may have found his inspiration. (Props: maids' aprons, a bedsheet)

Decent People (Sigurbjorg Thrastardottir) - tells the story of Icelandic celebrity poet Halldor K Laxness in an imagined encounter between him and two joiners fixing a window in his 1960's home. (Props: rectangular frame, tool belt, wooden mallet, large notebook)

Salute (Gabriele Labanauskaite Diena) - set in present-day Lithuania, the spirit of the controversial but greatly appreciated poet Salomeja Neris returns to the home where she lived in the 1930s and is confronted by objects from her past (Props: print dress)

The Ivy Door (Maria Manolescu) - set in the home of Gellu Naum and his life's love near Bucharest, where they look back on the story of his best-loved creation, the children's character, and penguin, Apolodor. (Props: wagon loaded with a few bricks, false beard, fluffy stuffed penguin)

John's Last Dream (Roberta Calandra) - a poignant drama about the poetry and worldview of the English poet John Keats, struggling agains crippling illness while living in Rome.
8 Royal College Street, Camden, before purchase and rescue in 2006  (via)
Michael Corby said he bought the house to save it from being stripped of its history
Glj├║frasteinn, the 1960s house of Halldor Laxness, is now a museum (via)

Salomeja Neris's house, Palemonas, in Kanaus, built in 1937 (via)
Gellu Naum with his life's love Lyggia at home in Bucharest (via)
Keats House, Hampstead (via)

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