TWS Barker Catastrophe Current Past


Out of patriotic fervour, on the eve of a great battle, Judith seduces and then slays the General of her enemy's army.

Judith Since it was first narrated in the Apocrypha, Judith has been a potent symbol in the struggle between the sexes and one of the great stories of female heroism and sexuality and that has inspired artists in nearly every generation.

In Howard Barker's retelling of the event, Judith discovers she is unable to contain her own feelings for Holofernes and the encounter becomes a complex physicological duel in which weaknesses are played as strengths and seduction and deception become a two way process. The ambiguity of her sacrifice is transformed into a compelling study of intense desire and the sometimes terrifying nature of love.

HOLOFERNES: I ran from the other boys and hid in corners. I sought no company, or the company of girls whose games appeared less brutal, falsely, but, I stammered with shame when asked to speak, even though my mouth was full of language. I lived always in the shadows, hating the sun's glare because it exposed me to the scrutiny of others. There was non weaker than me. But being weak, I discovered cunning....

JUDITH: I am also unhappy. I believed I was unhappy because I was widowed. But my widowing merely licensed me to show myself for what I am.

THE SERVANT: I jump on the nearest wagon. I whip the horses. Off I go. Fuck the war and fuck the wounded. The whores are miles ahead. The sign of a lost battle is the flying whore carts. Sometimes they pass through towns hours before the army. That's the signal to pack up and go. The whores outrun the cavalry. What strategists they are! What sensibilities!

Judith 1995
"..impeccably acted...visually gorgeous as it is profound......"
The Independent