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THE OLD WOMAN NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW
Opening Night: July 8, 2013
Did He Like It?
Pioneering theatre director Robert Wilson (The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, MIF11) returns to Manchester with his brand new theatrical production, The Old Woman. Developed with and starring legendary dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov, and co-starring world-renowned actor Willem Dafoe, The Old Woman is an adaptation of the work of the same name by Russian author Daniil Kharms.
Born in St Petersburg in 1905, Kharms suffered through Stalinist rule for much of his life. Eventually he was arrested, imprisoned and killed by Soviet soldiers in the Gulags aged just 36. The shortness of Kharms’ life parallels the brevity of his absurdist writings, some of which stretch to little more than a paragraph. One exception is The Old Woman, an obscure, brilliant and slyly political novella written in the 1930s.
Carrying echoes of Beckett and Ionesco in its deadpan narrative, which follows the story of a struggling writer who cannot find peace with himself, The Old Woman is perhaps the finest work by one of the great avant-garde Russian authors.
Recognizable Guys You Might Not Recognize
By BEN BRANTLEY
Published: July 8, 2013
"Which, when you think about it, is what happens in the comedy we call absurd: jokes become funniest when they’re repeated so often that they stop making sense. “The Old Woman” has the feeling of an eternal fugue, in which variations on a theme are circular and endless."
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