Staged by playwright Alice Birch and director Katie Mitchell, the play is loosely based on Marguerite Duras’ novella, La Maladie de la mort. The original tale has been reworked to explore the dynamics of sex work and the ethics of pornography; the female protagonist (played by Laetitia Dosch) is a sex worker who is employed by a man in a hotel room (Nick Fletcher), yet is forbidden from speaking or resisting. The words of the narrator, Irène Jacob, will be spoken in French with English surtitles.
The subject and style of The Malady of Death seem absolutely in keeping with the repertoire of its director, who is no stranger to controversy. Mitchell’s provocative interpretations of classics have polarised British audiences and critics, many of whom see her as a ‘vandal’. It is unsurprising then that this production originated across the Channel, where her talent has been truly celebrated.
Mitchell and Birch’s productions often have a feminist edge, even if at the expense of textual fidelity – Ophelias Zimmer, their reinvention of Hamlet saw the focus shift entirely onto Ophelia’s bedroom. This particular collaboration looks no less bold.
|What||The Malady of Death, Barbican Theatre|
|Where||Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, E2CY 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
03 Oct 18 – 06 Oct 18, Times to be confirmed
|Website||Click here for more information|