ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP
Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp London Review
Adler and Gibb
And yet there are times when the biographical information adds to our understanding, for instance with Toulouse Lautrec's portrayal of the Parisian demimonde he found himself drawn to when rejected by his family.
Tim Crouch will try for something different as he writes a play around an American artist Janet Adler and her long time collaborator and girlfriend Margaret Gibb. Beneath the stage is a lecture area where student Louise (Rachel Redford) is nervously delivering a presentation about Janet Adler and her art. But with Tim Crouch's plays, nothing is rarely as it seems as he involves his audience in reacting to his unconventional work.
As Louise delivers her lecture, she cuts to slides which are played on the stage above, a stripped back stage, sound desks on view with children colouring drawings on the floor, their delicate psyches protected from the excesses of language by wearing head phones. A boy and a girl will act as stage hands to deliver items to those playing the scene.
Later Sam and Louise visit the house where Adler and Gibb lived and where Adler died and get involved in a narrative that has little to do with the art but more with the lives of two eccentric older women.
Talented actor Denise Gough plays Louise, the student later an actress as she ventures on making a film about Janet Adler with the help and direction of Sam (Brian Ferguson). As this film making progresses we start to feel uncomfortable about the exploitation of the life of artists, and the curiosity about their private life and the relationship between this and the art works.
I think I was too confused by Tim Crouch's piece to fully appreciate his message. This has induced my worst case of writer's block for some months. I hope that by reading this review those who will be stimulated and impressed by ground breaking elements of Adler and Gibb will know who they are but I am afraid I cannot count myself as one of them.
I came away determined to research Janet Adler and Margaret Gibb who I had never heard of in order to try to fathom what they stood for and was directed by Crouch to the site www.adlerandgibb.com . I am left feeling stupid. A mon avis, ceci n'est pas un drame.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.