Friday, 13 July 2012

VOICES: Paul Hackworth (London)

Hi Nassim,

I hope this email finds you well. Yesterday, I attended a performance of your place at the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill, West London, with Tamsin Greig as the "actor." Tamsin is one of the best actors we have in the UK (or anywhere for that matter), and she brought a lot of personality and emotion to her reading of the play. Her evocation of cheetahs pretending to be ostriches is something that will stay in my mind for a long time - I only hope that someone captured it on video so that you can see it one day.

I am sending you a photo of Tamsin, with five "obligatory volunteer" rabbits - the lady on the left is from Iran.

The one thing I wanted to say to you is this - why does anyone feel the need to volunteer to read the final part of the play, the last two pages? Surely if no-one volunteers, the suicide machine cannot kill? I wanted to shout out to tell the other audience members not to volunteer, but also didn't think anyone would, and I was surprised that so many did, since you'd made the outcome fairly obvious. For me, talking to an actor on stage is a pretty extreme example of "breaking the fourth wall" (or is that the fifth?), so I wasn't ready to go a stage further and tell other audience members to ignore an explicit instruction from the playwright.

I will close by wishing you all the best for the future, and I hope you continue to send us such thought-provoking plays, and that one day you will be allowed to travel to see them performed.

Good luck,

Paul Hackworth

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