Staging Barker in France 2009
in Howard Barker’s Art of Theatre
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Howard Barker was first invited to the Odeon theatre in Paris, in 1995 with his production of Hated Nighfall and with Kenny Ireland's production of The Castle, both presented by The Wrestling School. The Barker season in Paris gives us the opportunity to examine the response to his Theatre of Catastrophe by the various stage directors, the audience and the drama critics. Four productions, by three directors, were programmed at the Odeon. The opening production stood apart from the rest of the season for several reasons: Gertrude was a French premiere whereas Knowledge and a Girl/Blanche-Neige and The Europeans/Les Europeens were not. Gertrude was the only play to be performed in the Odeon Italian theatre itself, the other three plays being staged in the outskirts of Paris. Barker's immediately subsequent French productions included another production of Gertrude and Guillaume Dujardin's production of Deep Wives, Shallow Animals in Paris, September 2009.

Howard Barker’s Art of Theatre

Essays on his plays, poetry and production work


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