19th October, 2021 -
1st October, 2019
Swiss theatre director Milo Rau became internationally famous with re-enactments (such as Hate Radio) and his tribunal pieces such as The Moscow Trials and The Congo Tribunal, where reality was staged in special ways: sometimes re- and sometimes pre-enacting history, in a combination of sociological analyses and political activism.
In the 2019 “Theatre Workings” lecture at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Rau’s long-term collaborator and dramaturg Stefan Bläske will focus on Rau’s more recent productions – the stage productions (or even, ‘re-enactments’) of real events and crimes such as the case of child murderer Marc Dutroux (in Five Easy Pieces) or the homophobic murder of Ishan Jarfi (in La Reprise), and Rau’s stage productions (‘re-enactments’?) of art works, including The 120 days of Sodom, The Ghent Altarpiece and Orestes in Mosul.
In the context of Rau’s “Ghent Manifesto”, which he published on the start of his artistic directorship at NT Ghent in 2018 – where the fourth rule states, “The literal adaptation of classics on stage is forbidden. If a source text, whether book, film or play, is used at the outset of the project, it may only represent up to 20 percent of the final performance time“ – the lecture will discuss what it means to base a production on (or, to ‘re-enact’) past events and existing artworks, be it movies, paintings or tragedies. The lecture will interrogate what it means to still ask theatre makers to be their own authors, and to understand theatre not as a product, but as a production process.