‘Le Momo’ - Evenings on Campus

‘Le Momo’ is the play featured in Evenings on Campus this year. It is being held on the 13th 14th and 15th July. The play is directed by Stefan Aquilina, a Theatre Studies lecturer while the actors are all students of the Theatre Studies Programme.

Description of Performance
The performance ‘Le Momo’ takes its starting point from the life and work of Antonin Artaud, but goes beyond this. A biography of Artaud is not attempted, but the performance tries to tackle what it is to be “an Artaud”. Several objects related to Artaud’s life were used as the basis for the performers’ improvisations. These objects include a stick, representing St. Patrick’s cane, and the straightjacket, representing Artaud’s various asylum treatments. Artaud’s vocal structures and texts were then layered on the improvisations, while other stimuli were provided from his paintings and those of his contemporaries. The performers’ mastery of these layers, coupled with the multi-level setting, give rise to a very dynamic and stimulating performance.

A revolutionary figure in the literary avant-garde of post-World War I France, Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) remains one of the significant and influential theorists of modern theatre. Primarily a writer, the work of this remarkable man include poetry, prose, plays, letters and essays on film, theatre, art and literature. His manifestos on ‘The Theatre of Cruelty’ offer a vivid indication of Theatre’s purifying potential. Artaud was a leading figure in the Surrealist movement and despite a divergence of opinions remained a Surrealist all his life, devoting his time to the study of human physical presence and its relation to creativity.

Parallel Research

All the performers taking part in the performance first encountered Artaud and his work during their studies, as part of the Theatre Studies unit Development of Text. Artaud’s key writings about the theatre where here analysed, but the performance gave a further opportunity for the study of Artaud’s vocal structures,