ordinary ontological sfx: theatricality

“A bunch of poofs strutting around in tights pretending they’re kings and queens,” is Robert David MacDonald’s summation of the view of a contemporary audience. Is this all that’s going on on stage to lead us to consider theatre not an artform? a camp theatricality? which, according to the logic of camp as the ‘the lie that tells the truth,’ swings both ways: to cheap and tawdry imitation and to expensive and shameless self-display?

Were it to rid itself of its lies, the theatre, like the church or the brothel, would no longer be much fun. Like the promises of the whore or the priest the actor’s are broken before they’re made.

Honesty is a trap for the literal-minded. Oscar Wilde: Consistency is the last refuge of the dull. David Byrne: Our loved ones demand honesty, but what they really want is better fiction. (In his book, The New Sins.)

This is not of the State, the social compact, our desire for the outright lie, the more outlandish the better, but of another figure. This is how, in the theatre, in its very theatricality, we are haunted by the ghost of being.

The Evil Tongue, by Enkeling & found here

Behind the ‘popular laughter’ and ‘hypocritical chattering’ – Norman Manea’s phrases – there is the tragedy of a life. Where it’s all been a mistake. And it is in the nature of false leads to be more compelling than true. What one might call ordinary ontological sfx.