Athletes of the Heart: Sea/Woman

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As part of the Beyond the Linear Narrative Project, the Pinter Centre is delighted to be working with performance company Athletes of the Heart, whose project Sea/Woman forms a key part of our performance and research programme.

Sea/Woman is about a Woman/performer searching for something indefinable. Uneasy, hemmed in, she dives repeatedly into her text to forget herself and become Her – but surfaces remembering even more. What wreckage is she finding down there?

This performance takes the Serbian word for rehearsals ‘proba’ meaning ‘to test’ or ‘taste’ and the French ‘répétition’ meaning ‘to repeat’ quite literally before your eyes, inviting the spectator to witness a normally private process: the fractured and spiralling dive into conscious and unconscious association as the actor prepares her role. As she tests and repeats the Ibsen text, slipping between her real self and the imaginary she is struggling to represent, she finds both echoes and dissonance within her own life, a relationship with the past and insight into what it might mean ‘to act’.

The collaboration is a convergence of different histories in theatrical research. Our project began as an exploration of age and memory (personal and cultural) and about what to perform – live – how and perhaps why, today. During its development, inspired by Ibsen’s domestic tragedy, our work, inevitably, became haunted by real tragedies of geopolitical disaster and conflict.