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One Man Good Woman

I am making a solo show which not only aims to serve as practice in order to research the application of Brecht’s concept of Gestus but also tells the story of one good woman turned sour by the memory of one man. It is has a Hollywood frame, circa 1940s and uses Brecht’s The Good Woman of Szechuan as a starting point – the play was written early on in that decade and first performed in 1943. As an actor plays with the puppet version of Mrs Yang, an unemployed pilot’s mother, he demonstrates Gestus in action, and how it serves to construct the fable. From there the show transforms, as the actor plays an actress preparing to play the same part but in a more naturalistic vain. Where does Gestus go then? With a view to evaluating what to do with Gestus today, the actress and the character Mrs Yang become hostage to themselves and the memories of lost love to devastating effect.

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