All entries for Friday 12 November 2004
November 12, 2004
Samia?.....The Samiad???... a connection in the sand, oh and some masks
Writing about web page http://didaskalia.open.ac.uk/issues/vol1no5/gettymac.html
Watching all the clips of Menander and reading about there performance of Samia (an obvious type-o, they mean Samiad, lots of wishes surely! remember the one where they went to the future? classic!), anyway I thought it might be worth mentioning a play I saw performed entirely in masks and without words…
I saw 'Island' by Trestle theatre company in Lancaster a couple of years ago and it was amazing. Based on a true life story of an elderly woman found dead on a traffic island the story revolves around her life and how it has lead her to become trapped on this roundabout. I remember coming out of the theatre and talking to my mates about it, and we all could imagine the play with full dialogue! We almost remembered it like that! It was a wonderful comedy because of the way the masks were brought to life by gestures and movements that matched them perfectly. For example the po-faced mask walked pompously and the jolly round mask was a road worker who had some hilarious gestures.
The perfect thing about Island was that it could have been watched by anyone of any language. So it's a nice little reference point for me when imagining the use of masks in Greece. The difficulty for the actor I'd think is the fact that they have to perform all the side effects of an emotion rather than the expression itself. For example, slumped shoulders for disappointment, gestures of disbelief for confusement. etc.
The article in reference to the play '5 children and it', sorry, 'Samia' is very useful in understanding more details in the Old comedies and how they were transferred to Rome. For example the role of women in the plays, questions that were raised. And disappointingly, that there was and abandoning of masks. Jim Henson would not be proud. Interesting links at the end to slavery to the media and sitcoms.