Who We Are
Zed's Erroneous Zones
La Casa de Bernarda Alba
"For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings;
Carry them here and there: jumping o'er times;
Turning the accomplishment of many years into an hour-glass."
The Chorus of Shakespeare's Henry V, appealing to the imagination of an Elizabethan audience. This was, for me, a reminder of just how much time went into the production of a theatrical piece, only for it to finally play out over an hour or so in the evening. The Hourglass name had found its classical endorsement, it seemed. But did The Bard mean exactly one hour? Hardly. His audience liked it in five acts, and that was often two hours plus. He would probably wonder why we still produce plays at all, given that we have moving pictures, HBO, and all the rest of it. He might question the wisdom of endlessly interpreting the theatrical canon just so a new audience might understand it better - or not. I mean, would he have been mystified by the
claims of artsy
, of the "need" for theatre, or would he have paused and said, "Yes. Interesting. Never thought of that." Maybe. Maybe he would he have gone for the inclusiveness of that great cultural equalizer, TV. Either way, we still persist in writing and producing plays, irregardless of mass entertainment. We still go to the theatre. Why? Is it the immediacy of the stage action? Or because, having no truck with Herr Brecht, we like catharsis at close range? Or is it because theatre is just a very social form of entertainment?
You hear these things, so they must be at least half true. Just as theatre-makers, writers, and the like talk about things like mission statements. Looking at ours, t
he choices point to something that may seem quite eclectic at first. Zed's Erroneous Zones followed by The Field? Well, there is a smidgen of method in that madness. Our projects alternate between an original script and ones that can bring a greater understanding - from a producer and writer's point of view, at least - of how a play might be staged. The only rule is to the come up with something new every second production. That, for now anyway, is the mission.
Our next production is a new play called Leda, Come Home, a drama about the tribulations of a dysfunctional family brought together by a homecoming, and will be staged in the Town Hall Studio from the 5th to the 8th of November. We'll keep you posted.
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