Willem Dafoe and Marina Abramovic
16 July 2011 WOS Rating: Average Reader Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Marina Abramovic is alive and well but she still fakes her own death. The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic is an ‘operatic’ biography created by Robert Wilson for Manchester’s International Festival. The woman on whom it is centred, had always longed to see her own funeral so, in the opening scene, we see three Marinas in coffins surrounded by Doberman dogs accompanied by the dirge of a Serbian singer. The fact that she is still breathing and still performing is owed to fate. For her object has always been to test the resilience of body and mind to the limit in public. The nearest she came to death was in 1974 when she threw herself into the centre of a large, burning star and lost consciousness. Life and Death isn’t a one woman show by the “Grandmother of Performance Art”. She plays her mad mother along the lines of Cinderella’s evil stepmother. No wonder Marina is verging on the psychotic. Many other performers play Marina, and Hollywood film actor, Willem Dafoe serves as an inspirational narrator without whose genius the show would fall flat, as he certainly breathes life into the show, whenever he is on stage. White-faced and wearing a red wig, Dafoe tells her horrific life story, the abusive childhood years taking up the entire 90 minute first half. Another interesting and successful aspect is some of the music - three songs, are written and performed by Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons in a tingling, expressive way. Sure, these numbers continue to explore the depressing theme but they are beautifully performed, giving the audience something poignant to remember. Robert Wilson deserves credit for devising the show, as it's certainly original and at times thought-provoking and Dafoe and Hegarty bring class to the piece but it reminds me of the Emperor’s New Clothes. The artistically inclined perceive a high calibre show clad in mime, dance, new music and statuesque silhouettes. The plebs, like me, don’t join in the standing ovation. All we can see is a naked attempt at a smoke scrreen. I am disappointed that we don’t see any of Abromavic’s breathtaking endurance acts. The only test of stamina is my own as I sit through this long and miserable show. - Julia Taylor Related Content Back to Northwest Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...