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Memorial ★★★★ and human requiem ★★★★★ (Adelaide Festival)

Reviewed by
ABR Arts

Memorial ★★★★ and human requiem ★★★★★ (Adelaide Festival)

Reviewed by
ABR Arts

If one were tempted to cast round for a theme or a set of motifs that could be discerned from this year’s Adelaide Festival, it might be Rilke’s ‘Who speaks of victory? To endure/survive is all.’ Not as a default position, but as a celebration of those left behind, of those who tell the stories of those who have struggled and, in some, cases, survived; in others, alas, not.

Brink’s staging/enactment/translation into musical, visual and theatrical terms of Alice Oswald’s great poem Memorial (2011) (★★★★) encompasses both the elegiac and the celebratory in its approach to conveying and expanding on the world of the original. The book-length poem, as its author indicates, is an attempt to translate not the story but the atmosphere of the Iliad, seeking to retrieve what she, along with ancient critics, referred to as the work’s ‘energeia’.