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"Tambours sur la Digue/Drums on the Dyke"

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Ariane Mnouchkine offers Tambours sur la Digue (Drums on the Dyke) a pseudo-ancient quasi-Sino-Japanese concoction by Helene Cixous. This play by the notorious structuralist-semiotician concerns a devastating flood and the question of who shall be saved, the nobility or the peasants. Given Mnouchkine's radical politics, you can guess the answer. Though dramatically unexciting, the show is visually stunning. The actors are presented as life-size bunraku puppets, manipulated by black-swathed handlers. And while their gorgeous costumes and other visuals prove thrilling for fifteen minutes, after that everything becomes a gigantic tautology.


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