chapter  6
24 Pages

“Because it’s in my blood”: the politics of illusio

Karen nods curtly under the lonely spotlight. With a sharp intake of breath she strides barefoot across the stage again. Reaching her mark she stops and screams in despair as her character comes to terms with the death of her friend. She crumbles to the floor in a heap, her knees and elbows knocking against the wooden floor with alarming abandon. Through painful sobs she goes through her lines again for the fifth time in ten minutes. The scene has clearly taken a lot out of Karen. Her voice is straining and the puffiness from all the forced crying seems permanently embossed on her face. Thankfully the director calls for a break. She flops against the wall of the Black Box and closes her eyes. When she finally opens them she says to me, “I love theatre even if its killing me.”1