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Strindberg - Other Sides

Seven Plays- Translated and introduced by Joe Martin- with a Foreword by Björn Meidal

Joseph Martin

Strindberg - Other Sides: Seven Plays presents fresh translations based upon the new national Swedish edition of Strindberg's works, hewing close to Strindberg's techniques of «scoring» his scripts for actors and directors. The plays are illuminated in introductory essays revaluating Strindberg's role in transforming theatre (and art) with his extraordinary new forms. The Ghost Sonata is a keystone in the construction of the expressionist theatre; in The Pelican Strindberg goes «over the top» with his own form of psychological drama until it soars beyond the realm of realism; The Dance of Death is a battle of the sexes rendered absurd, as a series of games played against the void; and Carl XII is an epic play portraying the last months of the king who brought Sweden's history as a great power to an end. Three one-acts from the late 1880s foreshadow the striking ambiguity of Strindberg's later works.

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The Dance of Death 221

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THE DANCE OF DEATH A Drama (1900) CHARACfERS EDGAR, Captain of the fort artillery ALICE, his wife, previously an actress KURT, the Quarantine Master Secondary characters: Jenny, the Old Woman, the Sentry (silent) THE SCENE The interior of a round granite tower in a fortress. At back the large entrance, a pair of glass doors, through which can be seen a beach, a battery-artillery fortifications-and the sea. On either side of the door a window with flowers and birds. To the right of the doors an upright piano; farther downstage a sewing table and two armchairs. To the left, center stage, a desk with a telegraph apparatus. Farther down a bric-a-brac shelf with photo portraits. Nearby a long chaise longue. At the wall a sideboard. From the ceiling hangs a lamp. On the wall by the upright piano hang two large laurel wreaths with ribbons, one on either side of a portrait of a young woman dressed in a theatre costume. At the door a free-standing coatrack with paraphernalia for a uniform, sabers and so on. Close by, a chiffonnier. To the left of the doors hangs a barometer. [A porcelain stove.1] It is a mild autumn afternoon. The doors stand open and out on the battery on the shoreline a SENTRY is visible. He is wearing a plumed helmet; his saber glitters now and again in the red glow of the setting sun. The sea lies dark and silent. The CAPTAIN is sitting in the armchair to the left...

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