Underneath the Lintel by Glen Berger


Favorite Fringe show this year. This one-man show (performed by Pat O’Brien, who apparently was on Saved by the Bell) was a play of ideas, and
the ideas were not new, and I still thought it was great. Because it was
also a quest play, a story about a character’s attempt to understand EVERYTHING, and that journey was vital and moving and more than
worth the price of admission. It was one of the more compelling fictional portrayals
I’ve seen of the mind striving toward truth, of the world-spanning
search for what can be grabbed onto and called real. This is my own
deepest interest, as I feel like I am discussing all the time! I aspire to take a deep and broad
interest in the world and I am interested in people who do the same,
including writers and scientists and fictional characters.

So I loved
this librarian from the Dutch town of Hoofddorp, who (this is the conceit of the play) has rented a lecture hall to explain to us, his audience, what he has found out on a rather lengthy chase after the boundaries of existence. He got started on this quest when he found a book in the overnight returns bin that was more than a hundred years overdue. Before that he had never left Holland, and barely left Hoofddorp except once when he tried to go see the Gouda cheese factory
but it was closed that day, he doesn’t know why. Things proceed rapidly, and in this performance the Librarian tried to explain life itself to us using a box of scraps, some books, and a slide
carousel tilted up toward the screen at such an angle
that everything we saw was small, and limited to the upper right corner
of the screen, and shaped like a trapezoid. I don’t think I’d recommend reading this play; what really made the experience was the performance, the single character imploring us directly to pay attention, working so hard he was pouring with sweat by the end of the show. Bless his dazed soul and
his sore feet and his lost love and his Baedeker and the things that cannot be said; they were worth the stupid parking ticket I got while watching this show.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1EImyrc.

Tags: and so on, now I want to see that play, so much, this post is like its own meta version of it, in which velogiraffe struggles to convey the experience, and now my tags, a meta version of _that_, the fleet grasping at meaning, and the earnest and frustrating desire to share.

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