Thursday 14 January 2010
What I am yet to do
Sometimes it feels like there will never be time to read all the books I want to read, see all the plays and films I want to see- listen to all the music I would love to love if I had time to know it- does all this sound familiar? I’m sure it does.
The world can seem like a series of rooms to me. Opening the book 1984 by George Orwell opened the door to a room of Orwell’s books and when I finally and sadly had finished there a door opened to a book my Margaret Atwood and then Aldous Huxley and onwards. The doors behind me always stay open and often in times of unrest or just to indulge myself I can go back to them, but I am certain I won’t get to open every door. Some of the rooms have windows and I can see from watching Dr No in one that Goldfinger is on in the next and I am almost torn by how much I want to get to the next room.
I accept that I won’t get to go to every room now but I still fight to get to try.
I had never seen the play War Horse until last night though, which for someone who goes to the theatre really quite a lot, loves war plays and films and used to spend every holiday and weekend working at a stables for nothing more than fresh air is a bit strange. I just hadn’t got to that room yet, perhaps because I thought it would be too sad, perhaps the timing hadn’t worked out, I’m not certain.
Of course the play is about a war and the sacrifice and pain of the horses involved in the First World War is agonising- which is why I have featured a picture of the lovely memorial on Park Lane to all animals who have given their lives in wars above. It is also perhaps poignant that the horses are played by puppets and that the animals and people involved in wars are so often puppets for the whims of a small few.
This is a fabulous piece of theatre and certainly the sum of its parts; nevertheless it is the puppets that are truly remarkable and that I wanted to write about. I was just amazed at what the puppeteers can achieve with only their bodies, wire and tape- smoke and mirrors really. Virtually anything in life when done with total commitment and passion by talented people can be remarkable but these puppets are so refreshing, so unexpectedly lifelike and moving that I have looked at the art, for that is what it is, of puppetry in a whole new light.
Photograph of the Animals in War memorial from their website here.