The first sound to hit you is loud playground noise, the uninhibited racket of kids en masse. It is every bit as evocative as that old madeleine was for Proust.
Then come the kids, 16 of them aged 8-14, all shapes and sizes. They line up along the front of a school gymnasium. Silent. Calm. Disciplined. Until, that is, they open their mouths for a metronome-precise litany that lays bare how adults format children. For better, for worse. Tenderness, anxiety, intrusiveness, domination, abuse. Education, education, education. The badness of our jokes.
My friend A. meanwhile wrote me these notes in email about the piece, after seeing it in Hamburg.
…this mixture of blankness of the kids as chorus, “channeling” the text, and at the same time being very much individuals, presenting their personalities. the flood of text. the totality of the border (or the mirror) — this is our world (hidden), and this is yours (exposed) (or the way you try to shape our world). and no bridge, not the smallest window between stage and auditorium. a very special, very solid kind of fourth wall, rarely experienced in theatre in that way. as it wasn’t a fourth wall of the stage (fiction versus reality), but of those two (real) worlds.