The classic text of Paradise Lost by John Milton gets a new twist in the upcoming production of Bare Witness: Paradise Lost. The adaptation for the one-man performance by Christopher Samuel Carroll is part of the 10 Days in Dublin Festival.
The show opens after Satan and his followers have fallen from heaven and arrived in hell. Satan then decides to take revenge on God by setting out to destroy God’s creation: man.
Carroll decided to use ‘Butōh,’ a form of Japanese dance, to portray characters such as Satan, Death and Sin. He explained that he wanted to make the characters appear both “fantastical and physical” in a way that the audience can really reach out and feel.
“Satan is the Rebel of all Rebels, prepared to sacrifice all the comforts of paradise in the name of freedom. As he says, ‘Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven’. But he still retains the nobility and grace of a true Archangel; through the story we see his courage, his eloquence, and his sensitivity. He is always in conflict with what he has to become in order to follow his beliefs,” Carroll explained.
Every word spoken on stage is from Milton’s original text although Carroll did edit it to fit the time frame. In regards to being both and actor and director, Carroll did say that he managed to keep a good balance between the two. But he does look forward to being back home.
“I can’t wait to be in a room with people again. Seriously though, it’s very exciting to bring all the months of madness to a distilled, concentrated hour with that particular hush of attention and the presence of fresh eyes, witnessing it for the first time.”