Clair de Luz

Insomniac Productions, London, United Kingdom, 1994
Author: Pete Brooks
Directed by Pete Brooks

about production

Insomniac Productions is a theatre company, which is symbiotically led by the artists and producers, dealing with new theatre in Great Britain and internationally for many years.

The company is delivering performances, which draw from a theatre experiment of last two decades and represent the work which is strictly intellectual a theatrically exciting, whereby it preserves top production values.

This dependence on experiment with a form is, concurrently, focused on text. Insomniac is interested in the use of non naturalistic forms of addressing within the framework of growing narrative context.

Thematically, the work of the Insomniac company is influenced by what we can call freely a cultural theory, and by the conditions of the 20th century society, usually marked as post-modernism. It is interested in a decay of structures and apparent fragmentation of a society. It is not interested in art or experiment itself in the art, but as a standpoint on a reality, more and more complex, we are in, and on the way of approaching it.

Clair de Luz is the second of a planned trilogy of theatre productions which sets out to explore the relationship between the rhythms and structures of filmic and theatrical narrative. The space occupied by fictions of any kind forms a hind of imaginary landscape, and none more vivid than the landscape of the film. The world that exists beyond the screen seems coherent and ordered with its own histories and personalities. In practice film makers often exploit this coherence, cross referencing films and actors to reinforce the discreet otherness of this fictive hyperreality. Thus, fictional life within film space allows paradoxically a kind of immortality as a narrative paradigm.

Maybe, if as the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan suggests, the unconscious is linguistically structured, and if as Freud seems to imply it has a narrative model, and lastly, if the predominant narrative form of the twentieth century is the film, might we not hypothesize that the unconscious is structured within the terms of film language... Freud makes a clear distinction between the process of mourning and the state of melancholia. Mourning he suggests is the process of externalising loss, while melancholia is an affliction that occurs when the memory or image of the lost one remains buried or imprisoned within the heart or the mourner. Clair de Luz is about the destruction that occurs when one party finds themselves unable to give up the memory of a dead love. The story of beauty and the beast is at the heart of Clair de Luz…

Pete Brooks, an outstanding personality of an English and world avant-garde theatre, which is inclined most of all to the theme of a text and screenplay, brings on the stage film methods and effects, a thorough visual technique and a story about a young lady who is crazy about the films so much that she replaces the world of film by a reality. Pete Brook develops and lays multiple pictures of a human being, memory, emotions and philosophy. He presents the theatre as a film, he does not imitate life, but the movies, even though he remains in the theatre. He describes and explores, in plasticity, the human memory and imagination in comparison with the real world. On top of that, he shrouds everything into Gothic atmosphere of the locked up doors, nightmares, mysterious corridors and touring in the labyrinth of time…


story, director, screenlay: Pete Brooks
adaptation: Gerry Harris
set designer: Neil Robson
lighting desing: Nigel Edwards
music: Andy Sauders and Richard Wolfson
projection: Richard Riley
cast: Tony Guilfoyle, Amanda Hadingue, Craig Stephens