Attempts documents four instances of a short performance score, recorded over a period spanning more than ten years. The video challenges the claim that it is not 'possible to live [theatrical repetitions] simultaneously' (Saner, "An Actor's Attempt at Sisyphus' Stone," p. 222) and endeavours to open up a space in which the dynamic interplay of repetition and difference (and, remembering and forgetting), as it materialises in the work of the actor, can be traced visually. Just like its written counterpart, Attempts also works as a way of 'echoing', by tuning into and listening in for echoes between audio-visual documents and by echoing the words of the printed page.
The score brings together material from Saner's practice-based research on the archetype of the tyrant. It includes a story from Francesco Andreini's Le Bravure del Capitano Spavento, which recounts an unexpected visit and request from Death, excerpts from Albert Camus' Caligula, and sequences of actions derived through experiments on 'usurping the throne'. The score has been performed as a stand-alone piece under the title of the main story Potrei Aver Ucciso Tutti (Maya Sahnesi, Istanbul, Turkey, 20 August 2006 and Scuola Sperimentale dell'Attore, Pordenone, Italy, 12 September 2006), and as part of longer performances (see below) either in fragments or in its entirety.
A new recording of the score was made for the purposes of this video on 19-20 December 2017 at Hackney Forge, London. The sequence was filmed four times over two days without rehearsing, watching previous documentations or consulting scripts in advance, relying solely on the actor's embodied memory. The sections included here mainly use the third take, with some close-up sections from the final take.
from And I Raised My Hand, Glorious, a duet loosely based on Euripides' The Bacchae
Studio Theatre, Royal Holloway, University of London
15 June 2006Collaborators: Tatiana Bre, Marilena Zaroulia, Dimitra Trypani
from the truth about the tyrant, a solo, site-responsive promenade performance loosely based on Camus' Caligula
Boilerhouse Theatre, Royal Holloway, University of London
12-13 June 2007Collaborators: Marilena Zaroulia, Elif Akçalı, Philip Hager, Naomi Brooks
from what happened to the tyrant, an ensemble physical theatre piece
Developed at Camden People's Theatre, London
22-24 April 2010Collaborators: Katja Hilevaara, Deirdre Strath Clyde, Konstantinos Thomaides, Marilena Zaroulia, Marissia Fragkou, Cis O'Boyle, Scott Robinson
19-20 December 2017
Collaborator: Scott Robinson