Friday, 14 September 2018

The Fairground Booth dairy 2

The Framed world of The Fairground Booth.

More work on the film the last few days as well the book. Re editing material for the book especially the neo platonism section Over the last week we attended a kabuki theatre production here in Moscow. Meyerhold was strongly influenced by Kabuki theatre and I am now beginning to see why this so. It has a naivety accompanied by a sophistication which is often unappreciated. The fairground Booth in its fist performance was also much misunderstood and denigrated. However it contains many innovations which became part of contemporary theatre as we understand it today.

"The Fairground Booth" has an aura of childlike naivety, however, this innocence is also accompanied by the grotesque of the commedia dell'Arte. The purpose is to disorientate the audience, to make them aware of the unnaturalness and theatricality of what they are seeing. All kinds of framing devises were used by Meyerhold in these commedia type plays, "The Fairground booth" and "Columbina's Veil" to draw attention to the fact that this is not real life. For instance servants were used to perform certain functions like opening stage curtains and helping actors with various tasks, including them in the action in new and unusual ways certainly unusual for the time.

Such framing devises and the fact that the plays are framed within the grotesque, contribute to the sense of another world or another plane of reality other than that to which we are used to seeing in the theatre opening the way to other understandings and sensations in the audience. The sense of the real world being conditioned by a sense of fantasy and grotesque leads the audience to start to make their own interpretations about what they are seeing and in this sense participating and even molding the play's sense. The puppet like quality of The Fairground Booth (The alternative title for  Blok's "The Fairground Booth" was "The Puppet Show") also suggests another state of being or other possibilities for the characters and the action of the play.

The Kabuki play "Yoshinoyama"where  the actors playing the roles Shizuka and her loyal servant  Tadanobu, directly and explicitly points to an art form and a situation outside the play. Tadanobu is firstly not human but is a fox disguised as a human. In one fragment the two characters freeze in pose of a husband and wife paper dolls which stand in the homes of Japanese families as symbols of filial loyalty. The fact that they become frozen as dolls for several moments builds layers of meaning recognized and contributed to by the knowledge and cultural sensitivities of the audience who will make connections to cultural variants outside of the play. The important thing here is that the fact that this is part of the play is also deliberately exposed. The device itself for referencing a particular element is displayed as a device.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fairground Booth Dairy - 4

The King of Time Reading a book called "Deleuze and Futurism" by Helen Palmer and there is mention of Khlebnikov and his poe...