Monday 20th November 2017
The New York Times has a review of a piece of theatre about Pepys called 17c, by Big Dance Theatre, which also features this website and its readers.
The show’s already finished, but you might find the review interesting to see what they focused on and how they adapted the diary. In a postmodern spin there were some modern day additions:
Two Pepys aficionados, played by Kourtney Rutherford and Ms. DeMent, sit to the side of the stage. Bookish annotators, they provide context and commentary on a Pepys website, and quibble comically about petty details. But there’s a bigger, more poignant question, and they argue about that, too: This man they revere did some horrible things. If they see that clearly, do they have to give him up?
Big Dance Theatre’s website has more about the show:
Using all the data we can find — the copiously prolific diaries themselves, Margaret Cavendish’s 17th century radical feminist play The Convent of Pleasure, three centuries of marginalia, and the ongoing annotations of the web-based devotees at www.pepysdiary.com — 17c dismantles an unchallenged historical figure and embodies the women’s voices omitted from Pepys’ intimate portrait of his life. Big Dance Theater continues its formal fascination with building systems of dance that challenge theater, while allowing the structure of the work itself to bring contemporary meaning to the making and un-making of our subjective past.