War of the Worlds, Taipei

In Ignatz Ratzkwatzky’s adaptation of Orson Welles’ 1938 radio play, the setting shifts to Taiwan with most of the action taking place in and around Taipei.

To reinforce the setting, director Ruth Giordano enlisted the help of several students from Dr. Mary Goodwin’s courses in the NTNU English Department in Taipei. Students translated into Chinese the lines of some government officials giving reports of (spoiler) the Martian landings. They performed with intensity and really raised the quality of the performance.

The microphones were seemingly haunted by Kilroy at the onset and it felt like an ominous sign for the rest of the show, but I think all the actors individually came to justify the glitches and crackle as just that extra bit of realia and the problems went back to whencesoever they came.

All in all, for having had only one read-through with the entire cast the night before, to iron out the big wrinkles and smooth-over the rest, the performance was a nice bookmark to the R4 storytelling run.

Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future. When R4 returns–and as sure as his made green apples, it will–it may be something completely different. We will see.

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