Small Talk 03 - Purgatorio by Alex Eisenberg

Purgatorio by Romeo Castellucci

Barbican Main Theatre

9 April 2009

7.48pm – 7.55pm

Seat E12 - (A)

Seat E13 - (M)

You can read an introduction to Small Talk here.



A: Hello…



M: Just trying to get into a book...[LAUGH]

A: Just trying to get into the book…what is it? [PAUSE] Oh right, okay.

M: Finally republished in England.

A: When was it…oh ’66 was it?

M: That was the last edition…

A: Okay…how far have you got?

M: Not very far! So I’m trying to get some in now…

A: You’re catching every moment you can!

M: Yup…because there is no programme.

A: You can get programmes can’t you?

M: They said they had sold out…


A: So what do you think its going to be like?

M: I dunno…nasty I think.

A: What’s that?

M: Pretty nasty, I hope.

A: Pretty nasty…

M: That’s the idea, isn’t it?


A: Have you seen any of the others?

M: No, I haven’t, I’ve only just come down…I live in Norwich so…

A: Oh right…

M: I didn’t even get into Paradiso

A: How come?

M: Too late to get a ticket…you have to have a ticket.

A: Oh…

M: So this is it.

A: One’s better than none?

M: Yup.

A: So you’ve just come down today from Norwich have you?

M: I came down two days ago.

A: Okay.


A: What’s Norwich like?

M: Sleepy.

A: Sleepy. [BOTH LAUGH]


M: We have our annual excitement, which is the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and it’s really good.

A: What’s that?

M: That’s a proper international festival.

A: Great…

M: Stronger on music than anything else.

A: Okay…

M: And it coincides with teaching…it coincides with my exam period, so I’m always off...

A: What do you teach?

M: English and Drama.

A: Great.

M: That’s why I’m at this kind of thing!

A: Okay. What age group do you teach?

M: Secondary.

A: Secondary school. How’s that?

M: Tiring at my age…

A: Tiring…you been doing it for a while?

M: Uh ha…thirty three years.

A: Wow…so you know what to do then?

M: In theory…

Are you a regular comer here?

A: Yeah I am, yeah. I came and saw the other show.

M: Which was…

A: Inferno.

M: Which was good?

A: Um…yeah.

M: Sort of three star…most of the critics seemed to three star it.

A: Oh, you read the reviews. Did you find them good?

M: I though they were interesting reviews.

A: Did they help you?

M: Well I know what I’m going to get. I’ve been around…

A: So you know his work do you?

M: I’ve looked him up, yeah. Still I hope I’ll see something English here sometime…


A: I think we’ve got quite good seats here.

M: This is nice actually…yeah.

A: We are sort of on the bend. A bit of side and a bit of front.


A: Sorry…I’ve completely distracted you from you book.

M: Well I was kind of thinking reading some De Sade would get me in the mood for it.

A: Okay…though I mean it is a tricky time to be getting into a book?

M: Yeah I wouldn’t normally be doing this but…

A: You just got it…

M: It’s just arrived and its been on order for two months…so I’ve been rearing to go. It’s either that or being really poncey and reading the French newspaper. But I won’t be poncey.

A: Are you a French speaker?

M: Yeah…

A: How come you read the French newspaper?

M: I just love France.

A: Oh right…

M: So I go over there…for the festival in Paris during the summer, which is hugely subsidised. It’s 10 euros for the maximum ticket price.

A: That’s fantastic.

M: But I couldn’t afford to go last year. They have bizarre things…if you think this is bizarre…they had ummm…you came out of the theatre in an immense industrial estate and you got in a truck, with a Bulgarian…truck driver…who drove you though industrial Paris explaining what it was like to be an economic migrant.

A: And how was that?

M:I didn’t go…because I was too poor to go…

A: Oh you couldn’t go…

M: They have that kind of theatre. And I saw…I can’t remember what the guy’s name is…ummm…but he does theatre…it’s like twenty five minutes of stage machinery – performing…

A: Oh wow.

M: Yes! So battles between two kinds of ladders…ladders going…

A: So you do integrate this work with your teaching?

M: That kind of thing yes…I’m not allowed to mention this kind of thing.

A: Why?

M: Because it’s a bit explicit and over eighteen…

A: Really…

M: I’ll mention that I’ve been to it.

A: Who doesn’t allow you?

M: My boss!

A: The headmaster or headmistresses.

M: The headmaster.

A: The headmaster.

M: Well it is over eighteen…

A: I suppose.

M: I don’t see why not…I think it would be great if they could see it but…

A: These are nice…

M: Yep…it’s a good theatre…

A: Leather bound arm-rests.

M: I’ve done my back in so I’m glad that I’m at this theatre.

A: Good. Comfortable seat is it, for you?

M: Yeah…I should be going to the Orange Tree in Richmond tomorrow but that’s…that’s benches and my back is so painful…

A: Yeah…these are a bit better than benches. Its kind of different when you are on benches, isn’t it?



M: Right, I think it’s going to start soon.

A: Yeah…It’s filling up.

M: Yes I normally sit on the end of a row, but I couldn’t get the end of the row…so I knew it was pretty full.

A: Why do you do that?

M: So I can do things with my back in the middle of the performance.

A: Oh really! Well I’m not going to be worried if you do anything with your back. You can stretch…because I’m a bit of a fidget, I’ll be honest with you…

M: It was either going to the hospital today or coming here…but I paid for this so I thought ‘I’ll come here’.

A: What’s actually wrong?

M: Well I injured it…two and a half years ago – computer printer….and then I carried on working and I was putting lanterns up in the theatre and my back went completely, I couldn’t get out of bed for three days!

A: What happened with the computer printer?

M: Oh I just dropped it [OUCH] for the last two inches…and then my elderly mother yesterday…

A: It seems to be going a bit more quiet now…[WHISPERED]

M: She fell over and I had to pick her up…and I did my back in as we both ended up on the floor…

A: Oh dear!...Enjoy the show…

M: You too…




1 comment:

  1. Superbo!
    Really nicely woven.
    It felt like a real journey.