A Naked Ghost

Friday, 31 January

The last week of this month’s intensive German just finished. Now I must get back to work, which causes the anxiety level to soar. What if I can’t write anymore? What if my current project, after many months idle, is like a dead fish, cold and scaly and too smelly to touch?

Hamlet at the Berliner Ensemble. It was a very avant-garde production, with a revolving stage and a naked ghost. Thanks to a friend’s subscription, we had front row seats for 19€ each, which made for a very immediate experience of the wildly bloody, gutty scenes, particularly the stabbing of Polonius, where I could even smell the buckets of fake blood. It was an interesting production, though to my mind some of the Sturm und Drang actually detracted from the emotional force of the play. Of course, my limited understanding of the German might have affected my reaction. And I won't forget the naked ghost.