I saw The Author by Tim Crouch on Friday. Four nights ago and I still can't stop thinking about it. Which is good. I haven't been quite so interrupted by a piece of theatre in a long time.
I am unsettled.
I thought I was prepared. I knew a little about this play with no action. I knew I would be confronted, challenged and prompted to think about my place in it. I feared it would be more direct and in my face. I was anxious before I arrived. I knew that people had walked out. But were they plants? All of them? I knew the performers would be seated amongst us. What I could never have predicted is my reaction to the performance.
I was so removed. Uncomfortable, fearful but somewhat removed from the words (they're only words right?) for the majority of the show. Fascinated by the audience seated opposite me, by the artist (and director) in my eyeline waiting for him to speak (which he did not) who was watching us (me?) and the unfolding drama.
I won't reveal the conclusion but I will say that it was shocking. Perhaps I was extra shocked being wrenched from my comfortable distance? And I felt guilty. Even as I was watching The Author saying the words I knew to be un(real)true, I felt guilty. Could I have stopped this? Really? It's a play, right? I wanted to get my money's worth. Don't we all? We want to hear the story, from beginning to the gruesome end. That is the point. Not our fault. So the author's then?
Hmmm... interesting. Still thinking.