I have heard about Ionesco and his ‘absurd’ theatre before, but it was the first time I saw an Ionesco play. When I first entered the studio, I saw the actor standing there looking through a hanged window frame. It was the first attached moment I had even before the play’s start. It seemed to me he could stand there and look upon the light forever. The light and the window remind me the Plato’s cave metaphor.
In the play, literally two old couple are talking each other, and hosting their invisible and important guests from all over the country. Guests are cute ladies, little children, scientists, bishops, journalists, chemists, general, and at last the emperor. At the beginning, within the help of the warm up speech they have, and their settle actions, the audience is getting familiar with the freaky situation and their ironic world.
In the plot the playwright tries to construct a tension with gradually coming visitors, and the revelatory ‘message’, which the old guy would tell the visitors. The tension works well with the help of the annoying bell rings, door openings, and coming of the orator at the end.
The décor and the light seems plain and dramatic to me. Chairs that gradually coming to the stage is a dynamic choice of the playwright. It gives more space to the actress; and it makes the audience be part of building the stage. On the other hand, it gives an idea of the story’s pace, and when it is going to have a closure.
Couples were great in giving life to the invisible guests. It reminds me the first phase of the class; improvisation exercises, playing with invisible objects, talking in gibberish, try to represent an idea and emotion. I felt the challenge of giving souls to the invisible characters. Keeping the pace of the conversation and synchronize with each other are another challenge to achieve.
The orator who has got a comedy like mimicry and gesture is like the manifestation of the playwright; the revelatory message is a gibberish speech and undefined graffiti like letters. It gives a strong feeling of nothingness in this world. I tried to empathize the situation. Being, doing, and having in nothingness stimulate my anarchic feelings. But they left themselves to a more mild understanding; Looking at the world surrounding us in a more critical way. There is lots of nonsense going on around us.
When I am thinking about a climax, is it the coming of the emperor, or is it coming of the orator, or is it the end of the orator’s speech? It is not very clear to me. It might be a misconception but Ionesco tries to play with the idea of a climax too. The climax might be the moment where the audience understands the revelatory message and its nonsense.