13 October 2008

The Oak Tree

The Oak Tree was a play by Tim Crouch and starring a different localish well-known actor who has no idea what they’re supposed to do. The play is about a hypnotist who has killed a young girl by accident with his car and his encounter with the girl’s anguished father who thinks he’s managed to transfer the girl’s soul into a tree. There was lots of contact with the audience, Tim often directly addressing the jury, which nicely opened the door for some additional comments from the young jurors. The kids were not convinced that the actor, a woman, had never participated before – I talked to her and it was true. It would have helped me and the kids if we had been familiar with her; in other places people like Mike Myers play the role. Formally, it had some really interesting stuff, but – if I may indulge in some subjective opinion – it climaxed with tears and soulful monologues delivered into the middle distance. What is it that actors are looking at out there?