“I was obviously very aware of the lighting operator. In fact, I probably focused more on [him] than on the actors. There was a danger of them being marginalised. It came across as a show about manipulation (in a good sense) … I find it satisfying to see the designer/technician very much centre stage and a visible part of the action. In my reading of the production he was Benjamin’s nemesis. It struck me that lighting was a genuine character. In many ways a stronger and more emotional or threatening character than the three Benjamins represented on stage … This would probably have come across even if [the lighting artist] were not so visible an onstage presence. [You could see] the lighting operator ‘anticipating’ a crucial moment in the amount of energy invested in a specific cue.”
“First of all I think that it was helpful the positioning of the lighting operator and the fact that he was lit … It was very clear that the actors’ action was generated by the lighting operator for example the green light but it was not so apparent the opposite (mutual or ambidextrous interaction). The lighting design was beautifully poetic. The above contributed to overall experience in that the performativity of the lighting operator made the whole experiment interesting to watch: to discover the cause and effect in a performance.”
“I really enjoyed the experience, I found it calming and meditative, a real focus on a moment in a life with a range of inventive techniques for presenting and for exploring and communicating the rich texture of the events and the language. A piece in which the thoughts, final movements and especially the writing and language of Benjamin were released and resonant … I was very aware of the presence of the lighting operator throughout - his consciousness and his status as an interested observer. His relation to the action remained ambiguous, but it was easy to fantasise him as a figure in the drama, whose connection extended beyond the lighting role.”
“Any audience will tend to look at the human in view on stage who in a particular moment seems to have most at stake (sometimes here this appeared to be the lighting operator), or who appears most to be most mysterious, hiding/deliberately effacing something, and again this led to the eye being drawn to him. Some interventions, such as the operation of the highly theatrical ‘lever’ were very conspicuous, and in its similarity to something dreamed up by HG Wells, even had a slightly quaint tinge (this could have been deliberate and intended, - it certainly had an air of incongruity given the otherwise ruminative and serious nature of the drama).”
“One other thought was that the fact that we were very aware that light was to some extent ‘live and conscious’ through a present human interactive consciousness, made us much more conscious of its ‘play’ on surfaces, and also therefore more aware of the full sensual reality and density of the piece as a whole - for example of sound and texture. This seemed very appropriate for a piece interested in exploring the texture of writing on a page, the sound of words, etc. It made what would otherwise have been taken for granted, consciously and playfully present.”
“I was subliminally ‘aware’ (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) of the delicacy of the relationship between light dynamics and actor movement in transitions, which greatly added to the air of ruminative and reflective sensitivity of the piece as a whole, its ‘listening’ quality.”
Words by audience members in email correspondance after the performances.