Lazarus White needs to be known. You must know his name.
Norman Price ensures that you will. A timeless figure longing to be seen and heard; unable to separate his sense of self from the stories attached to his soul. Flat Out Like A Lizard captures the struggle between a writer and their critics. Which story should he tell? The one that is light hearted? Or the ones that come from a darker place? He must find the right words, the right stories to explain who he is.
The stories chosen are strategic. The language is intentional. Slowly peeling back layers to reveal dangerous memories. Trying to distinguish these memories is challenging for Lazarus, however there is one commonality tying these memories together- the story of the predator and his prey.
Robert the Cat’s interpretation of the text introduces the voices of the prey. By adding their presence, we are humanising the victims in Lazarus’s stories. They are no longer just bodies walking around in the dark. They are no longer just ‘flesh’. They are women speaking through the text. Women who are mothers, housewives, sex workers, lovers or innocent children.
Working on a Norman Price play has been an unforgettable experience. The many layers to his writings mean that something new can be found with each reading. I think one of the most interesting discoveries for me comes from adding women’s voices to the text. By working with Norman’s words and Lisa and Anatoly’s direction, a jarring reality has been created. We see the side of the predator and of the prey- forcing you to fluctuate between empathy and disdain, between dark and light.
I believe this captures the essence of the play, the heart of what Lazarus White is trying to say. There is dark and there is light but there is also space between. The endless gaps between two opposite sides. And a lot can happen in these gaps…
“There are gaps.
Gaps before the hole.
Am I running out of time?
I long for the light beyond the hole”
Image by Monique Roy