From Barbican Programme
At the Lyric Studio, Hammersmith
and at the Barbican Theatre, (lunchtimes) February and April 1987
Voice 1 - Anton Lesser
Voice 2 - Ruby Head
Voice 3 - Mark Dignam
Directed by Paul Marcus
Lighting by Paul Highfield
Voices in the dark
Out of the dark they come, Harold
PinterÝs three Family Voices at the Lyric Studio, Hammersmith,
and sit ˝ embodied voices ˝ on chairs, as if portraits for a Bacon
To the left is voice 1, a young man (Anton Lesser). As he begins
to speak, his face is lit, his legs and feet slither away, slug-like.
To the right is Voice 2, an elderly woman, his mother (Ruby Head).
Between them, higher up and at right angles to them, posed like
WhistlerÝs mother, is voice 3, an elderly man (Mark Dignam). He
is the womanÝs husband, speaking from the grave.
The young man has left home, and writes letters to his parents.
His motherÝs letter telling him of his fatherÝs death has not been
received. He gradually discovers a contented family life in the
city where he is billeted. Lesser describes with relish, then bemusement,
the house and its inhabitants where he finds a temporary peace.
Head regally portrays an aristocratic of the middle ˝ classes not
understanding that the next generation has to find, for a time,
a world elsewhere. And Dignam laughs from the grave.
The voices return to the blackness. Are family ties more or less
than words? Family Voices (1983) is a resonant, evocative chamber
piece ˝ precisely directed by Paul Marcus, sensitively lit by Paul
Highfield ˝ performed in this lunchtime production with skill, commitment
London Daily News, 24th