My version of Schiller's DON CARLOS, was given a public reading on Nov.6th 2017 as part of THE FACTION's Schillerfest, in the Bunker Theatre, London Bridge. I was meant to give a talk afterwards, but time ran out.... DON CARLOS is very long.... anyway here is the talk I would have given, SCHILLER AND CONTEMPORARY VERSE DRAMA, about Schiller and my experience of him, which still might be given at the Festival, read by an actor, tbc....
My play UNTOUCHABLE, directed by Kathryn Hunter, went well at the RADA festival, June/July 2017. Peter Brook came, and told Kathryn we have a 'responsibility' to take the play on, so she is approaching theatres. I was very privileged to have a chat with Peter Brook, talking about audience freedom. He said the play might leave the audience with the impression that they should become Buddhists, as Ambedkar and many of the Untouchables did. He left me with a very powerful hint, by pointing to the very last words of The Tempest, where Prospero hands unlimited power over to the audience -
And my ending is despair
Unless I be relieved by prayer...
As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free.
So there's a compact whereby the writer hands over all power to the audience, who then hold him/her captive till the moment when they, hopefully, set him free with their applause. This is the difference between theatre and propaganda.
My book, Sonnets of Various Sizes, around 60 sonnets written over thirty-two years, is published by Shearsman Books.
In June 2016 I received a Travelling Scholarship from the Society of Authors, who commented - 'Peter Oswald's subtle, layered story-telling and dazzling use of language marks him out.' And 'The astonishing Peter Oswald deserves to be much better known. He immediately plunges the reader into a parallel and dark reality entirely his own.' The assessors were: Richard Davenport-Hines, Maura Dooley, Christopher Potter, Sameer Rahim and Jane Ridely. They based their judgement mostly on my story-poems Three Folktales and Weyland. Weyland is available from Oberon Books, and Three Folktales is available through peteroswald.net.
SCHERZO FOR PIANO AND STICK, by Riotous Company, has had a very successful run at the Print Room Oct.17-20 2016 - THE STAGE described the text as - 'Peter Oswald's deceptively simple, mesmeric verse'.
This recently performed at Teatro Vascello in Rome.