Although We Fell Short


Images: © Tim Etchells

It is not time now to find common ground, or to focus on the future we seek and dream of, or to respect the dignity of all human beings. We cannot raise our peoples. We cannot raise the standard of living and bring happiness and glory to our people. We cannot. I believe that we cannot solve the  problems of our time.
I believe deeply that we cannot solve / that we cannot find / We have different stories, and we lack common hopes; our values and our interests do not coincide, we do not look the same and we have not come from the same place.
The road ahead will be too long and our climb will be too steep and our destination will be too far away. We probably will not get there in one year or in a decade or even in a century, and in fact to be frank I have never been more certain than I am tonight that we will not reach our destination at all.

Although We Fell Short is work in the form of a speech for the performance maker Kate McIntosh. Made from the ruins and fragments of many other speeches, the text sees material from a range of contemporary and historical political campaigns, party congresses, debates, resignations and revolutionary tracts in unexpected dialogues and collisions. Mixing more or less unrecognisable fragments from speakers including Kruschev, Obama, McCain, Thatcher, Blair, Pol Phot and many many others, the work strains and stretches sense, constantly cohering momentarily and then dissolving.

Although We Fell Short had its premiere performance on 26th November 2011, at Kaaistudios, Brussels as part of the season Spoken World.

“For Spoken World, the Kaaitheater and Siemens Stiftung will be devoting theatrical research to the formal and substantive forces behind the speech. Forces that can lead a community to war or peace, to ‘good’ or to ‘evil’. Whether it is written beforehand or improvised on the spot, a speech is always given in a specific context, in a ‘here and now’ – just as in the theatre. Someone gives shape to an argument while an audience listens – just as in the theatre.

Theatre-makers from several continents will be creating a performance for Spoken World in which they examine their relationship with the speech given and make a space for it in their own political and cultural context.”

Written and directed by Tim Etchells
Performed by Kate McIntosh
Lighting design by Nigel Edwards
Produced by Forced Entertainment
Commissioned by Kaaitheater & Siemens Stiftung

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