I forgive you
I held a poet’s limb
for six months
I didn’t eat it
A woman sifts through the detritus of a stranger’s life so that she can deliver a respectful eulogy. As she does, her ex-lover travels across the continent on foot, grasping the dismembered hand of a philosopher, trying to make sense of his both his own psychosis and the madness of a war that is ravaging Australia. Above all, he is trying to reach the woman he loves. An Australian businessman sells his patented gene coding of indigenous plants to a multinational corporation while preparing to betray his wife.
Lastly, in an idyllic time many years before the mysterious catastrophe, a young librarian falls in love for the first time. It is she that will be betrayed by the businessman and it is in memory of her that a eulogy will be written. Her story is the lynchpin that unites the four different time-lines of the play. Her naiveté and her need are the central metaphors of this work and in her destruction lies the solution to the mystery of how this terrifying vision of the future has come to pass.
“Poet #7 is a fascinating experiment—appropriate given its lab-type setting and medical-procedural themes—but its consciously high level of formal stylisation will mean that any observer will come away with a different interpretation. Science knows, I haven’t found two people who can agree on what is actually supposed to have occurred in the piece, and responses have ranged from ecstatic to bored. Perhaps, in discovering the narrative ‘truth’ of the work, its aesthetic beauty loses focus—and vice versa. This variety of individual interpretations is itself a kind of Heisenberg Principle given dramatic expression. In any case, it’s the kind of boundary-pushing work seldom seen in a state arts centre.”
John Bailey, RealTime
Georgina Capper, Simon King, Merfyn Owen, Edwina Wren
Darrin Verhagen, Martin Kay, Nick van Cuylenburg
Vanessa Pigrum – Full Tilt at the Victorian Arts Centre with Daniel Schlusser Ensemble
June 12, 2009