An Ouvroir Dedicated to the Theatre

Although a founder-member of the Oulipo, it has always seemed to me far more necessary — pataphysically speaking — that there should be an ouvroir dedicated to the theatre in which Jarry performed and for which he wrote the works for which he will always be known. In a Collège dominated by philosophers, professors, pedagogues, pedants, explorers, mathematicians, poets, novelists and critics, the theatre itself remained a mere pretext and an abstraction …

Photo of Stanley Chapman performing in 'Sans Titre'

Much work has been based upon Oulipian principles (carefully avoiding the cruelty of the word 'constraint'), but we have also extended far beyond this into potential theatrical techniques of production — particularly regarding Boolean Theatre, whose overlapping and interlocking Escherian architecture has enabled La Fontaine to rub shoulders with Tchekov; Ionesco hold hands with Hugo; Shakespeare to mug with Bruce Forsyth; Lorenzaccio (Sarah Bernhardt and Musset) to usurp Ubu (Jarry and Gemier amongst many others). The N ± 7 method applied to the dramatis personae has produced startling effects. A major project in rehearsal for the future is a production of A Hundred Thousand Billion Dramatic Pieces.