Pozzo Diaries: one step forward

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Pozzo’s lines are starting to stick. Some of them, anyway.

Rehearsals have mostly been focused on blocking so far—it’s a very complicated show to block. At least if it’s going to be blocked well, and if the audience is going to enjoy it. People just standing still and talking would ruin it. But we’re not yet able to really work on our relationships and drives—one of the things about the play (and Beckett’s plays generally) is that it’s often difficult to choose the specific desires of the characters at any given moment, in part because not only do they change constantly, but the characters often have no memory of what goals they were desperately striving for five seconds previously. Also, there are lots of perfectly workable choices for those moment-to-moment desires, and we have to actually decide on them.

I was about to write that Pozzo, particularly, has a kind of short-term memory problem, but of course Gogo’s is far worse, and even Didi, while able to hold on to a few ideas, is subject to a kind of temporal blurring. But Pozzo goes from laughing to screaming to detached amusement to weeping to shouting again, over and over, in eyeblinks. It’s what makes him funny, of course, rather than just horrible. But it makes it difficult to build relationships with the other characters.

Still, I think we’re starting to get to a kind of relationship between Lucky and Pozzo—I think that Pozzo is, really, still very passionate about Lucky, at least in Act One. I think I may have found the first place they make actual eye contact (they clearly don’t make eye contact for quite a long time) and how that plays into whatever is between them. I don’t yet know when the audience should begin to be aware of Pozzo’s utter dependence on Lucky—or of Pozzo’s flickering and panicked self-awareness of that dependence. I want, when the script is out of my hand, and being aware that Pozzo’s hands are rarely empty, find a moment when Pozzo touches Lucky with his hand (and not with the whip or the boot). I don’t know when… possibly it’s Blind Pozzo that touches him. Hm. The Blind Pozzo choosing to touch is so different from Sighted Pozzo choosing to. Well, we’ll see.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.

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