Chronicles - a lamentation
Song of the Goat Theatre
2001 – 2007
Character – Gilgamesh
Voice – Bariton
photo A. Chruściel
“…as Rafal Habel, playing Gilgamesh, began his final speech in a slowly darkening room, the lights failed, flickering between brightness and blackout. Habel, ready and responsive, transformed the scene into a dialogue between himself and the faltering glow, a moment of theatrical purity.”
– Cassie Werber, Total Theatre Magazine –
Music Arranged by the ensemble from the traditional polyphonic songs and laments of Grece And Albania
Chronicles – a lamentation is the culmination of two years of research. In northern Epiros, the region straddling Greece and Albania, the group discovered a living rich musical tradition of lamentations and polyphonic singing. This music has a traditional division of voices: the one who weaves, the one who cuts, the one who gives or takes, and the drone. The protagonist in each episode ‘acts out’ the poetry, weaving it from the singing and music. The divisions of the voices can be seen to correspond to the dramatic function of each actor-singer. For example the ‘weaver’ and ‘taker’ can correspond to the protagonist and antagonist.
These songs are like the warp on a loom, on which the narration and ‘pattern’ of the story emerges. The performance centres around the ancient Sumerian epic inscribed on stone tablets over 5,000 years ago, fragments of which have been unearthed and make up the story of Gilgamesh the king – part man, part god. He and his wild companion Enkidu set out to do battle with the Great Goddess, and, when Enkidu died, Gigamesh’s tragedy began as he started searching for immortal life.
Director: Grzegorz Bral
Costume design: Cristina Gonzales
Set design: Grzegorz Bral and Rafał Habel