- Katharine Gemmell
- 24 August 2018
This article is from 2018.
Musings from muses become a searing indictment of a genius
What's worse than being dead? Is it being forgotten? This is the question asked by three women who played a massive influence in the life and work of Pablo Picasso. In this production of the script written by Brian McAvera, Marcia Carr directs this searing indictment of a figure known for nothing less than being an artistic genius.
The play is made up of confessional monologues from Fernande Olivier (Judith Paris), Olga Khokhlova (Collete Redgrave) and Marie-Thérèse Walter (Kirsten Moore) as they recount their shared experience of passionate affairs before being tossed aside by Picasso.
Olivier recounts a sad existence that is littered with trauma and ends in poverty. Her memories of Picasso are haunted with hurt as Picasso rose to fame and left her behind. Olga's experiences are passionately laid forth with an unbridled Russian confidence and knack for playing Picasso at his own game – ultimately by refusing to divorce him and not allowing any of his other children to be legitimate. Then there is Marie-Thérèse, played by Moore with a childlike and rather foolish demeanour, who shows no sign of bitterness in their relationship – even as she commits suicide.
Set perfectly in the surroundings of the Fruitmarket Gallery, the lofty and white space feels a congruous fit to where three artist's lovers should be trapped in the afterlife. The production is gorgeously imagined and exposes the way an important historical figure brutally disposed of women, in what he evidently thought was a 'service to his art', but which was really just sociopathic behaviour.
The Fruitmarket Gallery, until 26 Aug, 7pm, £13 (£11)