"Eight Songs (for a mad king)" is a very literal combination of music and theatre resulting in a thoroughly stylised portrayal of madness, conscious of its artifice and overt histrionics. The work is profoundly, if indirectly, influenced by the Theatre of Cruelty, notably in relation to Artaud's ideas on how the voice should be used in the theatre, and shows a connection to Peter Brook's production of Marat/Sade in terms of the theme of madness, the disinhibited [sic] physicality of the vocal production and the choice of an eighteenth century historical figure. Davies's King is, however, not a realistic figure: we are inside his madness, seeing things perhaps as he sees them, such as the bizarre 'birds' to which he talks as if they were people (and here, of course, they are). The physical presence of the bird cages on the stage is arguably a visual reference to the Marat/Sade, where at times the stage was separated from the auditorium by bars to protect the audience from the dangerous lunatics at moments when things got out of hand."
Full copy here:
Ophelia Has a Lot to Answer For
A lecture on madness from a historical/literary etc viewpoint with some very useful references: http://www.owtoad.com/ophelia.html
Well that concludes today's lesson...will also be taping Richard and Judy : Live at Five tonight as its subject matter is 'Why Love is a Mental Illness'!!
Off to 'A-Live' at 6pm, then work later.
Roundabout and roundabout and roundabout I go...