Year 12 Exam Work
The astonishing momentum generated by the outcry over the behaviour of Weinstein, and sexual predators in general, hit the Seckford stage with resounding impact this week. Momentum is conserved according to the laws of physics, endlessly transferred, reorganised, lost and found. Energy likewise. Sometimes both come together locally to dramatic effect, like a wave or a storm – and so it has been over the last few months. That our six actresses (that they are all women is important) were able to harness the zeitgeist in such a stunningly original and dramatic way demands the highest praise. They sought out words and histories, statements and poetry – no theft here (unlike the theft of innocence that the words universally described) – but a respectful selectivity. I believe I am a man innocent of any sins in this respect, and that we are mostly a society of honest and good people when it comes to such behaviours, but the horror of the bluntly desperate statements victims have made casts a very long shadow.
The actresses took the words and the anger and magnified them, through movement – the patterns of daily life made sinister; through speech – from painful whisper to ear-splitting guttural; through juxtaposition – man’s aggression in attitude, speech, and touch played out in a woman’s frame. And they all six maintained an intensity which only further dramatised quite how important this issue is: to them, and to our society. This is a difficult area, full of pain and ugliness, and the performance pulled no punches. We in the audience did not have a happy evening, but we had a significant one.
Many, many congratulations to the cast, for the brave decisions made and for the imagination you showed: you created something quite remarkable which will live long in the minds of those who saw it – the apotheosis of drama in all its guises.