19 November 2006

I've read two amazingly good plays this past week. The first was Gerhardt Hauptmann's Hannele, a poetic drama written in 1893 about a young girl suffering from abuse and neglect, which sees her welcome Death himself in the midst of angelic visions.
David Harrower's 2001 play Presence is a spare, riveting piece about young men playing in a band in Hamburg. Contains the outstanding line, "We're not British. We're from Liverpool." There's a pre-production interview with DH here.

Strange to think that Hauptmann, by then a very old man, survived the 1942 firestorms inflicted on Germany by the RAF, events which vibrate throughout Harrower's play. Have a look at these pictures of the aftermath, first published in 2003. To see the more graphic ones, click on the OPEN button. If you're not of too nervous a disposition.

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