When I decided to travel to Quebec to see this upcoming production of Louis Slotin Sonata translated into French, I thought to myself, “Well, this experience will certainly be new, but what will it be like?” I had so little idea that, even though I wanted to write about it in advance, I couldn’t.
And then came this trailer…
What I love about it is that its director trusts the play so much that he leans exclusively into the power of the words, and the power of the actors to speak them, to sell it to a potential audience. Of course, because there are no “staging landmarks” for me to follow, I am delightfully disoriented. On my first watching of it, I only really gained my bearings when an actor started speaking Hebrew. Ironically, once he heard the Mourner’s Kaddish, this born-and-raised Irish Catholic boy felt on familiar ground.
It’s a fundamental and powerful truth of theatre that the spoken word is orders of magnitude more primal than the written. Plays are not literature. They are an altogether different form of art.
Seeing my words transformed into another language, and then transformed again back into life by these captivating actors, gives me chills. The good kind.
I can’t wait to see the whole thing. Live!