Judith Malina, from Living Theatre, and Silvia Calderoni, from Motus, join together to discuss having played two Antigones in different generations. I will admit I was already biased to love this production. Upon meeting Silvia for the first time (although I had kind of seen her around), she waved at me from the door of La Mama. I waved back not wanting to be rude and she bounds up give me a kiss on the cheek and asks if I’m seeing the performance that night. When I reply that I can’t because I will probably have to work at Will Call, she argues with the resident intern so we can all come. At first, I think she has mistaken me as someone she knows, but it becomes clear that this is just her. Wonderfully zany and open. I make a mental note to stalk her.
But onto the performance itself. After battling it out with the other volunteers, playing rock paper scizzors, I finally make in. I’m all abuzz with getting to see the only performance.
Seeing the two together is beautiful and so natural. The two, unified by their belief in the potential of theatre to incite political change discuss their experience of playing two Antigones. Admittedly, I know this production would have much more effect if I had more of a background knowledge on the topic. However, as a stand alone piece I find really exciting.
Silvia has almost a superhuman energy to her. We watch as she hits herself, cries and screams. She crawls to the audiences feet and they squirm uncomfortably at the suffering of the person before us. It’s all very Theatre of Cruelty. Judith similarly is full of energy but takes a seated stance for most of the performance but her energy and charisma draws you in.
A small hijink happened but I’m not sure it really hindered anything about the performance. While marching Silvia’s microphone dropped. I guess we’ll never know if that really changed anything.
Overall, the whole work felt more like a theatrical event, a moment to be present at. When we were all invited at the end to decorate the plain white stage that had been slowly altered through the play, it had such a collaborative atmosphere. They hope to distribute the once white paper set to the streets or to an art gallery. I was happy to do a few doodles. Wish I had brought my camera!
Here is a video from another performance of it.
Anyone see it? Anyone think it sounds cool? Anyone think it sounds wanky?