The Fence in Its Thousandth Year
Howard Barker's tragedy of identity uses the idea of the frontier both actually and metaphorically. A state attempts to define its character by erecting a fence against outsiders, but it is violated both by strangers and by the transgressive appetite of its ruling class. In the fever of its decadence the kingdom is revealed to have at its core a scandal which is itself the consequence of the breaking of sacred boundaries.
Barker's way as a dramatist is always to expose the public crisis through the personal agony of individuals. Photo, the sightless protagonist of this latest work, is the most sophisticated of adolescents, and his blindness is abolished by his acute sensibility. But there is one darkness in his life that cannot be revealed.
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ADOLESCENT ALGERIA enters ALGERIA watches arse aunt DOORWAY beautiful blind child blind thief body of YOUTERUS boy PHOTO breasts cardigan chair chess chessboard clothes cognac dark glasses darling dog barks DOORWAY goes Duchess dying eyes face fence fifteen fixed fling frowns frustration funny gesture goes to ALGERIA hands hate high-heeled shoes Howard Barker husband Hutier ISTORIA KIDNEY killed kiss ALGERIA knife know PHOTO laughs lifts looks marriage MARRYING THE THIEVES mother mouth muscadet naked never pain PHOTO gazes PHOTO goes PHOTO sits pity poetry DOORWAY prodigiously gifted push the pram rattle is shaken regards DOORWAY say thank SCUM searchlight shakes his head Shh PHOTO shoes shrugs sighdess Silly smiles squirms stares sterile stops Suddenly Suicide Pause swiftly terrible THANK YOU THANK things think so DOORWAY thrusts turns to go ugly UNDRESS walks wardress wife wire woman womb women Yes ALGERIA Yes PHOTO zoo sounds