Saturday, July 6, 2024

A Number

A Number

by Caryl Churchill

It's really sort of difficult to describe this play. A two-hander originated by Michael Gambon and Daniel Craig, A Number follows an elder scientist named Salter and his relationship with his son... and his son... and his son. Salter, it seems, has experimented with cloning, and after a problem with his original son, he started attempting to make a better version. However, as the original and the clones learn about each other, conflict arises beyond anything that Salter could have expected.

I read this play in hopes that it would fit into my Science on Stage class, but there wasn't really any discussion of the science of cloning. Of course, that's just fine. Churchill wanted to talk about something else - the emotional weight of fathers and sons. We may fail each other, we may let each other and ourselves down, but does that give us permission to toss those failures to the curb and start anew? Can we accept each other for who we are and what we have done? Can we erase those failures and still be who we are? Can we love each other because of rather than in spite of our faults?

And perhaps most importantly - is there a video anywhere of that original performance?!!? What I wouldn't give to get to see those two men perform this play! 

No comments:

Post a Comment