• Mitch Riley

Hommage à Artaud

I have a desire to let life break through with the ferociousness and intensity of hunger, of a deep, profound need. A desire to lend my body, all my ressources, everything I am capable of, to the life of a character, to give him a voice, this person, the real person who cannot be here, who could not otherwise speak, who would not otherwise exist. To allow him to be seen and felt and understood, or at least heard by others. The cry, the joy, the sadness, the anger, the love, all this intense life, bursting forth, needing to be heard and shared. A desire to reveal the person waving wildly through the flames, his image seared upon the memory of the audience. There is no choice: each instant onstage must be an instant of intense, profound life.

And it is a matter of life and death - a character lives and dies through the actor, so give the character the time s/he needs. Be patient, there is no rush - the silence will speak for you. Find pleasure in giving the character life, in rendering each movement, each tone of voice, each detail with precision and care. With each moment you lay a tile of a shrine to this person.


La Chambre Double (excerpts)

To what benevolent demon do I owe the joy of being thus surrounded with mystery, with silence, with peace and with perfumes? O beatitude! That which we generally call life, even at its fullest and happiest, has nothing in common with that supreme life which I now know and which I am tasting minute by minute, second by second! No! There are no more minutes, no more seconds! Time has disappeared; it is eternity which reigns now...


Oh! Yes! Time has returned; Time reigns supreme now; and with the hideous old man comes his demonic retinue of memories, regrets, spasms, fears, anxieties, nightmares, anger and neuroses.

I assure you that the seconds are now strongly and solemnly accentuated, and each one, spouting forth from the clock, says: - “I am Life! Insupportable, implacable Life!”

This is the intensity of each moment onstage.

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