Here’s a play that has a record number of interpretations, and has become one of the most performed plays in France.
The Bald Soprano sets out to break and ignore the conventions of a traditional play. The characters speak to the audience and there is no linear plot. This play tries to highlight problems in society or humanity and so focuses on themes more than story. People will connect to the absurdity of the characters and the comedy of it all. It very humorously shows the uselessness of life. It is surrealist absurdism and avant garde theatre.
“It really shows the absurdity of human interactions. As technology and social media become prevalent, people so quickly turn to their phones if they find a conversation boring, or if there’s a silence. No one ever connects one on one anymore, it’s so easy to disassociate yourself,” said Barry Walsh, The Bald Soprano’s director.
At the time The Bald Soprano was written, in 1952, it wasn’t about technology but rather social status – social dinner parties with people you don’t like and trying to make entertainment out of it, using people. We are seeing an interpretation in a modern day setting.
“It’s as though we were to put humans in a zoo and give them things to play with. The set is a living room and a dinner party is the entertainment. [In this] hour long show…we watch these people trying to interact with themselves and their surroundings,” explained Walsh.
“You’ll understand what is happening right in front of you but it’s possible you won’t understand why it’s happening. They’re speaking English words but not in sentences that make sense. None of the characters truly mean what they say, there’s a lot of contradiction,” added Walsh. (MS)
Mar 15–26, 7.30pm Wed-Sat. King Street Theatre, 644 King Street (cnr Bray Street). $28-$35. Tickets & info: kingstreettheatre.com.au or 0423 082 015
BY MEL SOMERVILLE