Monday, February 13, 2006

Peter Greenaway

The Russkaya Bride, the Blogger Groom, his Older Daughter, the White Russian Princess, H.E. the Ambassador, the Ambassadress, the Consular Officer and the Indian Servant…

Happy End

"The Russkaya Bride, the Blogger Groom, his Older Daughter, the Russian Princess, H.E. the Ambassador, the Ambassadress, the Consular Officer and the Indian Servant…" Sounds like a title of a film by Peter Greenaway or the name of a post-La Fontaine fairy tale but it is in fact the cast of a live performance of a very unique kind, which took place on the First Day of the Second Month of Anno Domini 2006.

The Artistic Direction, usually in the hands of the Bride’s Mother was this time credited to the Blogger Groom himself. The set had reminiscences of Orthodox Russia: both orthodox Lenin portraiture and Russian Orthodox Church gilded icon frames with heavy scented candles. There was a touch of the atmosphere of Archeological and Natural History decadent galleries. And only the Arms depicted in the half-broken plates of a Stately porcelain service linked the play to the Atlantic & Indian Oceanic Empire whose headquarters were in Olisipos.

The plot was not particularly original, telling a story that has been successfully staged since the Beginning of Time. The leading female role is normally played by a young actress with a fresh face and white garments and this production didn’t differ from the norm. The leading male role, though, is usually also performed by a young good-looking actor but this time the constraints of the Production called for a more mature artist. The youthful pale-blue silk tie the Blogger Groom was wearing was a flourish one can only attribute to a Peter Pan Complex.

The plot demands a Consular Officer with a pleasant firm voice and a “gravitas” demeanour. His lines are serious ones. He has to ask the amateur theatrical company and the Audience if anyone knows of any reason for the Ceremony not to proceed. He has to read and comment Rights & Duties. And, finally, he has to proclaim the Power of the State to turn an otherwise mere commitment into a life-long Bond.

The most entertaining and cherished scenes are the ones when the fresh young girl accepts indeed to join her destiny to the one of the mature post-adolescent and when he, in turn, accepts to link his own destiny to hers. The Russkaya Bride takes a glittering prop, golden and ring-shaped with her pianist long fingers and gently begins to find for the said ring its proper place, while saying words of Tenderness and Love. The Blogger Groom then takes a similar but quite smaller tolkienish Ring with his once reputed beautiful hands and performs a similar gesture, accompanied by no lesser enthusiastic words of Love and Tenderness.

H.E. the Ambassador from the Seafarers’ Country and the White Russian Princess then advance with grace and sign, as Witnesses, the Binding Document.

The Older Daughter and the Ambassadress from the Orthodox Land join in the general merriment, while the Indian Servant, on cue, enters the Stage in his white livery carrying the Champagne-shaped bottles that look conspicuously like Don Pérignon.

The Final Scene, with Beluga black spheres served on sour cream buttered Aladje happily consorting with fried salty codfish pastries, was one of widespread enjoyment.

It was a short play, the leading actors having already been booked for a lunar performance tour that took them in succession to Biarritz, Amboise, Paris, Beaune and Aix-en-Provence.

No comments: