Sebald on Stage
Like most of us, Paul Davies and Fern Smith enjoy immersing themselves in a good book. [Ed. Note: That use of “like most of us” signals that we’re not reading a U.S. paper.] But when they stumbled upon a copy of The Rings Of Saturn by W G Sebald, the seed was sown for a new stage production.
Now 10 years after the book’s original publication, and seven years after the German author’s untimely death, Volcano Theatre Company are presenting the UK premiere of i-witness, which was inspired by his words. It’s the first time Sebald’s work has ever been taken to the stage.
But it isn’t a straightforward adaptation of The Rings Of Saturn, which is an account of the narrator’s walking tour of south eastern England. Instead it takes a wider look at literature in general.
You can see the 5 minute clip below, but here’s how it’s described:
During the performance, the cast of four – Smith, Davies, Catherine Bennett and Philip Ralph, who wrote the award-winning Sherman Cymru production Deep Cut – all give their own thoughts on Sebald’s book.
Bennett is fanatical about the things no-one notices. Davies plays music to keep the silence at bay. Ralph has not been sleeping well since he read it. Smith is hypnotized by the rhythm of endless walking.
Even aside from the Sebald connection, the Volcano Theatre Company sounds pretty cool—their last production was called “A Few Little Drops,” and “was staged in a purpose-built inflatable arena, complete with its own self-contained water world.”