The Malady of Death

The Malady of Death

2.5 (4) · Contemporary Drama

Through an intricate blend of performance and live cinema, this production explores intimacy, gender, emotional paralysis, and the male and female gaze.

Overview

Playwright Alice Birch updates and inverts Marguerite Duras’s novella, turning the female protagonist into a sex worker and investigating the impact of pornography on the psyche. In a hotel room by the sea, a man waits. The woman comes at night, only ever at night, and is permitted neither to speak nor to resist. Anything he wants, she must do. The cost doesn’t matter. He wants to learn how to love, what it is to feel again.

Renowned as a risk-taking auteur who directs beautifully crafted, influential multi-media work, Katie Mitchell considers the unique way in which men and women scrutinise each other – as well as the potential for abuse of women within patriarchal structures. Affecting images, sophisticated camera techniques and courageous acting by Laetitia Dosch and Nick Fletcher come together, with the intense action unfolding both onstage and on a large screen to the words of narrator Irène Jacob

Critic reviews

It's a rich, layered piece, teeming with loaded images, that can be read in many ways (review from Edinburgh run)

WhatsOnStage

Provocative and bound to cause controversy (review from Edinburgh run)

The Independent

As rewritten by Birch, the text becomes a meditation on perception and gazes...which means that the form and tone of Mitchell’s work is in perfect harmony with its ideas (review from Edinburgh run)

The Times

An intense look at today's voyeuristic culture (review from Edinburgh run)

The Telegraph

La maladie de la mort is an unsettling interrogation of the male gaze - in fact, of an audience's gaze, whatever its gender (review from Edinburgh run)

Arts Desk

Katie Mitchell’s hypnotic, numbing and technically audacious adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ novella

The stage

Date & time

Show ended
Wed 3 Oct - Sat 6 Oct,*

*Check website for details.

Venue

Silk Street EC2Y 8DS London, UK · Get Directions
2.5
out of 5 stars
4 user reviews
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