20 – 30 August 2008
The Lesson / Le Professeur Taranne / A Picnic on the Battlefield:
An absurd lesson… a picnic on a battlefield… a quirky professor
Ignite presents three of the greatest moments of Absurdist playwriting in this rare triple bill of The
Lesson by Eugene Ionesco, Professeur Taranne by Arthur Adamov and Picnic at the Battlefield by
Ionesco's darkest play which premiered more than 55 years ago, has the power to frighten and delight as only Absurdist plays can. The Lesson is a superb example of Ionesco's Theatre of Derision which is concerned with the meanlessness of meaning. Creating criticism amongst his contemporaries, he derides the way we embalm ourselves in knowledge, creating a theatrical experience which is more easily absorbed than understood.
Le Professeur Taranne is based on a nightmare the playwright once had; of a man trying to hold onto his identity though unable to establish conclusive proof of it. Adamov create an Absurdist classic in his depiction of dislocation and cruelty in a meaningless world.
In Picnic on the Battlefield, controversial Spanish Absurdist Fernando Arrabal creates an corrosive antiwar satire, at the same time as a Chaplinesque comedy by depicting childlike innocence alongside the grim realities of war time.
Together these classic plays reveal how the Absurdist tradition began and the times from which they were borne to their legacy which continues.
Following the critically acclaimed production of Antonin Artaud's Jet of Blood, Ignite presents 3 Short Works as part of the VCE Drama Playlist. The Ignite team has accrued an impressive range of individual credits with such companies as Melbourne's MTC and Malthouse theatres, Sydney's Belvoir Street and Bell Shakespeare and Perth’s Black Swan Theatre Company.
"Surreal avant-garde perfection."
"Reckless and exuberant."
THE HERALD SUN
Written and Created by
ARTHUR ADAMOV, FERNANDO ARRABAL, EUGENE IONESCO
Directed and Produced by
MICHAEL FINNEY, HAYLEY FORWARD, JOSHUA HEWITT, KELLIE JONES, HANNAH NORRIS, STEPHEN WHEAT