Saturday, September 25, 2010


In Where You Stand I nick a bit from Sara Ahmed’s brilliant book Queer Phenomenology, in which she notes, not at all in the context of theatre, that the ‘rect’ in ‘direction’ is the same as the ‘rect’ in ‘correct’ and ‘rectitude’ and for that matter ‘rectangle’. It’s all about straightness. As a director, it would seem to follow, my role is about keeping everything straight. Orderly and tidy and straight and narrow. It doesn’t seem to fit me at all. I mentioned this to Jonny, about the ‘rect’ in ‘director’, and he said, yes but don’t forget it’s also the ‘rect’ in ‘erection’. This would seem to conjure an image in which as a director I’m the conductor not just of chaos but of a chorus line of cocks. I hope it’s not as actually phallocentric as that but once I have your attention I do quite want to shape, or at least help to hold open, your experience of desire. I recall Natalie Abrahami’s statement regarding her anxiety about nudity on stage: isn’t it distracting to spend all evening watching someone’s genitals? My answer: not if those genitals are the most beautiful thing on stage. Desire is always political. Want something. Want something.

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