Manchester International Festival
Lyric Theatre, The Lowry
Every year the Manchester International Festival produces elaborate and artistic productions that attract a great deal of world attention and this year is certainly no exception.
Their latest piece, The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic is an innovative and thought provoking production. The piece tells the life story of the legendary performance artist, Marina Abramovic. However this is a unique production because the director, Robert Wilson has envisaged how the story will resolve and has included Marina’s death scene, yet this world re-noun Yugoslavian performance artist is still alive.
It stars Hollywood legend Willem Dafoe as the narrator and 11 actresses and one actor as Marina. The production includes Marina Abramovic herself playing the role of her own Mother and superb vocals from Anthony from the group, ‘Anthony and the Johnsons’. This is a creative and inspired production with a very high caliber of artistic talent.
The production tells how this great performance artist had a very difficult relationship with her mother and yet broke away and went on to become the most influential and dramatic artist of her time. Abramovic has certainly suffered for her art, from carving a star in her stomach to allowing an audience member to play Russian roulette with a loaded gun. As an artist Abramovic is not afraid to explore the darker side of the human psyche. The concept for The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic originally came from director and designer, Robert Wilson. The play draws on a variety of artistic forms from music, dance and video images to lighting and performance. All these elements produce a very stylized and dramatic piece of theatre.
Each scene is beautifully created and resembles a scene from an art exhibition rather than a theatre production making it unique and original. The music is very dark and atmospheric and combined with the excellent performances and brilliant costume and set design helps to enforce the meaning behind each scene. The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic is a great ensemble piece.
If you love Abramovic then you will enjoy this creative piece of theatre.