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Wounds to the Face

What do we mean by 'losing face'? And what if it were literal?

Wounds to the Face Howard Barker's controversial new work explores the way in which we see ourselves and others through the character of the human face. The physiognomy of the face is central to our relationship with the outside world. It is the first thing we see when meeting strangers and the first they see of us. How we interpret that face affects our preception of others and ultimately influences almost all aspects of human behaviour.

Who is beautiful? Why do looks sometimes make us feel ashamed?

In a series of comic and tragic narratives, Wounds To The Face examines the many faces we present to each other and the pain and humour we experience in finding these features can be changed, obliterated, switched for another or simply accepted as indelibly our own. With powerful poetic language and flexible use of time and space, Barker avoids simplistic stereotypes to create a work which reaches far beyond the standard notions of disfigurement, human beauty and public image to explore the elusive quality we call identity.

Wounds to the Face 1997
" Stephen Wrentmore's classy production.....thought and theatrics meet and explode like a fireworks..."
The Guardian 19.8.97

"no one has put the punch back into dramatic language more than Howard Barker...Its a thrilling experience"
Scotland on Sunday 24.8.97