Scars

Company: Hesitate & Demonstrate
Devised: Geraldine Pilgrim
Director: Geraldine Pilgrim, Janet Goddard
Cast: Geraldine Pilgrim, Janet Goddard, Didi Hopkins, Jan Hardisty
Designers: Geraldine Pilgrim, Janet Goddard
Sound: John Darling
Year: 1979


‘…taking the Brontes as a point of departure, the artist-performers construct an hour-long dream sequence of images and actions which calmly evoke the dark solemnity and festering nightmares of the Bronte girls and perhaps many a female psyche of today. Moving fluidly between a Haworth parlour, contemporary railway waiting room and tracks, Gothic cemetery, opera house box and neon lit bar, the piece, played to a tape of wind, dogs, owls, Elgar and Yorkshire colliery brass bands, is studded with images which wouldn’t digrace a Webster play or Bunuel film.’ (Michael Kusov, New Statesman Aug 1979).

‘Not the least impressive aspect of Scars is the way in which the setting, dominated by a stretch of railway line, the props and the performers have been welded perfectly together to create a nightmare of Victorian repression.’ (Peter Hepple, The Stage Aug 1979)

‘The group have poise, … a tight, sophisticated, widely referential approach: essentially literary and imaginistic, very much concerned with the visual potency of their tableaux…’ (John Roberts, Artscribe Aug 1979)

‘A beautifully intricate set designed to expose at various times a dozen or more different situations/rooms/ spaces, each minutely detailed, was combined with one of the best sound effect systems that I have heard for a long time.’ (Carole Spedding Spare Rib, Aug 1979)

‘Elaborate sound effects and eerie back and down lighting accompany mundane activities carried on in circumstances somehow rendered bizarre: a man at the dinner table is served paper, which he eats; a man dishes up ice cream with ostentatious ceremony, while a woman matter-of-factly climbs under a funeral canopy and dons a death mask; a woman covered by a white veil is further obscured from our view by a leopard skin; dishes are arranged upon the table as though they were toy soldiers poised for aggression or defense; the ladies take their china for a walk along the tracks, meticulously pouring tea between the railroad ties… The Brontes’ daily routines, as well as the escape afforded by their imaginations, are communicated with an audacity of vision and a resourcefulness of performance style’ (New York Theatre Magazine, Aug 1979)

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