Five Truths: Brecht

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Video Transcript

03:05 – [sings, with musical backing] He is dead and gone lady,

Dead and gone;

At his head a grass-green turf,

At his heels a stone.

 

He is dead and gone.

Lady dead,

And gone.

 

[speaks] I pray you mark. And then she sang again. And then she sang again.

 

[sings, with musical backing] They bore him barefaced on the bier;

Hey non, nonny, nonny, hey nonny hey nonny;

And in his grave rained many a tear.

Fare you well my dove.

Fare you well my dove.

 

04:21 - [speaks] And then she said,

 

There's rosemary, that's for remembrance;

Pray you love, remember.

There is some pansies. That's for thoughts.

There's a daisy.

I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.

They say he made a good end.

She said.

And will he not come again. And will he not come again. No, no. He is dead. Go to thy death bed. He never will come again. And then she left.

 

06:14 – There is a willow grows aslant a brook,

That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come,

Of credit notes and bills and cards from bankers,
That liberal thinkers give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds,
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
And down her paper trophies and herself,
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As if to advertise her own distress.

 

[sings] He is dead and gone lady,

Dead and gone;

At his head a grass-green turf,

At his heels a stone

 

07:23 - [speaks] The image of a creature naive and worthy of financial aid…

But long it did not take,
Till that her papers and…
But long it did not take,
Till that her papers, heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay…
To muddy death.

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Five Truths is an immersive video installation in the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Galleries. The films are inspired by five of the 20th century’s most influential theatre directors: Constantin Stanislavski; Antonin Artaud; Bertolt Brecht; Jerzy Grotowski; and Peter Brook. Five Truths examines how each of the five practitioners would direct the actress playing Ophelia in the famous mad scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Each film is directed by Katie Mitchell, and Ophelia is played by Michelle Terry.

The five films (10 screens) are designed to run simultaneously in the installation.

Five Truths, 12 July - 29 August 2011, Theatre & Performance, room 103, Free admission.

 

The films are inspired by five of the 20th century’s most influential theatre directors: Constantin Stanislavski; Antonin Artaud; Bertolt Brecht; Jerzy Grotowski; and Peter Brook.