Death can also transform the living
A young man learns
that his father is dying. He drives furiously to reach the bedside. But
he arrives too late. The dead man's mistress shows him to the room where
the body lies and leaves him to his grief. His younger brother appears.
He was present at the death but his attitude is strangely ambiguous. He
seems reluctant to engage with his elder brother, who immediately suspects
him of a secret...
Suspense, suspicion and paranoia build in Howard Barker's erotic and disturbing new play in which sexual fantasy veers from casual adventure into inescapable servitude. Powerful poetic language, provocative ideas and rich, dark humour build a shocking yet compelling exploration of bereavement and sexual imagination.
Dead Hands is an intimately emotional piece about the experience of death in a family. It shows how the silence of the recently died can provoke a strained and bitter dialogue among the survivors. Barker's plays have often celebrated the secret. Here the secrets of the dead inspire extreme speculation. Should we fear death not for itself but for the fate that it inflicts on the survivors? The legacy of death is not only a dispensing of property but also of emotion, pain and a remembered life. If death is the last great secret, then those who witness it must surely be drawn into its mystery?
Dead Hands is directed by Howard Barker in the company's distinctive style, working with the team that created the highly successful productions of 13 Objects, Gertrude, and He Stumbled.
play about dying that makes you feel a lttle baffled but strangely pleased
Warning: This play contains nudity, explicit language and extreme moral speculation.
Photos on this page by Robert Workman www.robertworkman.demon.co.uk
Supported by Arts Council England