The Escapologist

I have so much work to do right now. The deadlines, both writerly and library-related, are bleeding out of my eyes. Things are not helped by the fact that I’m re-reading the excellent and uber-subversive Walden. I can’t help but consider the merits of ‘doing a Thoreau’ but figure I should give this respectable career idea a fair shot first. And anyway, it’d probably take a cod-handed chimp like me at least six months just to sand down the timber.

The theme of escape continued last night with a trip to the Tramway Theatre on the south side to see Simon Bent’s acclaimed play, The Escapologist.

It is too literal, I think. A straitjacket is surely a hackneyed symbol of entrapment. I can’t help feeling that the show would have been better as a black comedy, possibly involving iron lungs like wot I cleverly did back in 2000.

Most reviews of the show make reference to the idea that we all share a desire to escape. Is that what this play signifies? Are we really all so desperately unhappy and unfulfilled that the desire to escape is constantly present? Do we all feel as though we’re failing to keep up?

I’m reminded of the ‘bird man’ pictographs etched into the rocks during the last days of Easter Island – thought by many to be articulations of the islanders’ inability to take flight after their raw materials had been expended on irrational statue-building. Is The Escapologist a modern incarnation of the bird man? Do we all long to flee the mess we’ve made of things?

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