“I hope you aren’t thinking that I am a) dead b) annoyed. I’m neither, but I did have flu.”
Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell were two of America’s most brilliant poets. Their friendship was messy, intense, unconventional and profound. Through their lives, they wrote over 400 letters to each other, spanning decades, continents, political eras.
These are their words.
Susan Smith Blackburn award winner Sarah Ruhl has crafted a stunning and quietly bold piece of theatre about what it means to love someone, and all the questions we regret never asking.
Intensity of two poets' bond established with playfulness and poignancy
But this is as live as theatre can come – entirely within the moment, simultaneously mightily well coordinated and completely improvised. Worth watching for the novelty alone
A fascinating experiment
Poets bare their souls in a lyrical show
Two giants of American poetry reduced to playthings
Gate artistic director Ellen McDougall’s abbreviated, reworked staging of Ruhl’s play goes one step further, leading two different, unprepared actors through a kind of poetical treasure hunt each night
Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell’s life-long relationship is explored with playful affection
Play of letters between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell is both tender and devastating
The way the piece is constructed may come across as a somewhat basic idea, but the results are truly emotive and gripping
McDougall hooks the audience with her direction and creates an appealing treasure hunt that is as interesting to witness as it probably is to act out