As soon as Anatomy of Suicide opens you feel the isolation of Carol and her freefall into a life that does not consider her and won’t understand her. With the dialogue intercut between scenes, there are words that pop out to highlight the story with humour or pathos. The slow rhythmic changes of set and costume draw in the progress towards the inevitable fates of Carol and then Anna. When the final scene opens up into light and space there is a feeling of hope, but at a terrible price.
This play throws up so many questions about expectations, attraction, mindfulness, genetic inheritance that I suggest you go and see it with someone who you can really talk to afterwards.
Written by Alice Birch with Katie Mitchell directing. The Royal Court, Jerwood is an excellent theatre for accoustics and listening to the cast speaking these painful and sometimes funny words was cathartic.
My best friend gave me Beyond Black as a Christmas present ages ago. It was because of the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire connection (Hilary Mantel is from Glossop in Derbyshire and we’re from Nottinghamshire). I spent a lot of time reading Beyond Black with my mouth open in shock and kept putting it down only to take it up again minutes later. It was as if I were reading about a relative – one who the family didn’t often see and generally talked about more with their eyes than with their words. The spirit world was accepted in our family but not encouraged, for the very reasons that are contained in Hilary Mantell’s Beyond Black.
Hilary Mantell has a playful voice that is full of knowledge and reflection. Her fearless imagination weighs up the odds facing those between life and death. She is able to inhabit the minds of those now dead, with compassion. Looking forward to hearing her Reith Lecture: The Day is for Living – art can bring the dead back to life. Radio 4 Tuesday 13th June at 9.00 am.