I always loved silence: when speech is silent something takes shape. Harrower designed - through the 24 scenes of his play - an anatomy of silence: the silence of creation bursts upon us: not the silence between two sayings, neither the horizontal silence that earth gives to the plow nor the silence before the storm: the silence here is the one that precedes creation.
When I look at The creation of Adam I can not help wondering about the space that Michelangelo decided to leave between the two fingers: the finger of the created – at the left - and the finger of the Creator – at the right -. A hiatus between them, a hole, a mystery. At that very place – I believe – language is born. In that silence of the image language happens: there the creature and his creator are named. The no one’s rose: the language. The silence is the beginning and then everything explodes. Like this.
David Harrower writes a play that unfolds – or tries to unfold - that mystery. Knives in Hens is written from that hiatus: Harrower is installed in between the creator and his creature. The piece seeks to reflect the power of silence and the power of word.
Inside the young woman - the heroine of the play – a war between silence and word breaks out: at the very beginning she wants to find a name for every cloud, every leaf on every tree for every movement of nature. The inherited names do not seem to satisfy her. A tree is a tree, but when the wind shakes the branches: “How do we call the tree?” – says she, thinks she, doubts she. Her husband – William, a farmer - tries to answer those questions. She does not seem to be satisfied with the answers. William - then – believes that she doubts about God. God has put a name to all the things on earth and these names of God are in the heads of men, He Himself has put those names in our heads. We cannot doubt: it is the only and inherited truth. The names are the inheritance of God and us – honouring the names - are honouring him; when we name things as God named them we are transformed immediately into creations of God, we inherited His language, inherit His traits, and inherit His silence.
First translation from Scottish
Alejandro Tantanian and Martín Tufró
Ana María Converti
Set and costumes
Running time: 100 minutes
Argentinean premiere: October 2006, Sala Cunill Cabanellas, Teatro San Martin, Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires (CTBA), Argentina
Photos: Carlos Furman & Ernesto Donegana
Winner of the Trinidad Guevara Awards 2006 in the category Best actress (Gaby Ferrero)
Nominee for the same Award in the category Best Music (Guillermina Etkin)
Nominee to the Florencio Sánchez Awards for Best set design (Oria Puppo).