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
It's a rich, layered piece, teeming with loaded images, that can be read in many ways (review from Edinburgh run)
Provocative and bound to cause controversy (review from Edinburgh run)
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)
An intense look at today's voyeuristic culture (review from Edinburgh run)
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)
Katie Mitchell’s hypnotic, numbing and technically audacious adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ novella