Monthly Archives: April 2010

FYI- For Your Information: my ass!

Life is not measured by the amount of times you breathe but by the amount of times that they take your breath away. (George Carlin)

A vida não é medida pela quantidade de vezes que respiramos, mas pelos momentos que nos tiram a respiração.

Claudio Diet ( pays an enormous tribute to my (past) work.

the mooning incident in 2003

It’s really moving to see the flashes and crashes of a collage

of things that I’ve written and staged. I’m in a bit of a shock.

That was an FYI (For Your Information, For Your Improvement or For Your Ignorance), or for your eyes only.

In England, Gordon Brown calls a country woman a “bigot”

Here’s the tape:

Poor Brown. All colors are rather shadowy in this forthcoming election. Labour’s election campaign was in disarray yesterday after the “Prime Minister on hold” was forced to apologize to a pensioner and lifelong party supporter whom he had described as “a bigoted woman” for questioning him over the scale of immigration from eastern Europe.

In the US, after days of resistance, Senate Republicans – “Fyied” – agreed to let Democrats open debate on a bill to regulate the financial system. “Senate Republicans”!!!! I’ve always wondered what goes on in their heads. They advocate for a republic. Strange, whereas the Democrats advocate for a democracy. If we live in a limbo, neither, either of the two, which would be the party that truly represents this system???? Arizonism? AriZonaism? Arizo-zionism? Of do we live in an eternal FYI? Hmm.

The photo posted above  has been circulating around the world. It appeared in the New York Times as well as in the Guardian and all other European and Asian publications. Yes, my ass. My arse. My mule. It now seems part of History.

“Which History?”, you might ask. The history of Rio de Janeiro’s Municipal Theater: the so called, Rio Opera House. It’s a majestic building and it was projected  by Emperor Don Pedro in the 1800 + something. Oh yes, Don Pedro went all the way to see Richard Wagner, in Bayreuth. And his mission was to com-mission a new opera: based on love, the impossible love: Tristan and Isolde.

Yes, Wagner’s Tristan was paid for with Brazilian money. Strange, you might say. But this is a fact. Brazil, in fact, owns the rights to one of the famous operas ever composed (Wagner ended up opening the piece himself, both in Dresden and in Munich because Brazil was too slow to build its theater). Brazil is slow. That hasn’t changed.

So, I was booed. But this was not the reason why I mooned the audience.

Who might have been sitting in that vast audience? The theater sits 2.500

But you could swear that there must have been over 3.000 people there, on that cold August day, the day when Haroldo de Campos died.

I was in a state of rage. I was in a state of complete let down. His death to me was almost like a personal let down to me. I was left in a state of abandonment. I was left in a state of ZERO percent.

The richest one percent, an imaginary figure. One percent is imperceptible to the human eye, ear, all of our senses. The richest people of this country own half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. This is a strange thought.

One third of that comes from hard work. Is there work which isn’t hard?

Yes, there’s easy work. There certainly is that. But what is it? Please, someone tell me what that would be.

Two thirds of the richest people come from inheritance, interest on interest, and interesting interest on interesting interest. That, if you add the percentage that goes to accumulating to widows and idiotic sons, turns out to be a Mount Sinai of sins and signs.

The news, on TV, printed press or the internet, must – absolutely must, be BAD news: war, no peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip, or clipping the oil clip.


Quantos construíram um vocabulário teatral?

How many artists have actually built a theatrical vocabulary?

Quantos sequer “pensaram” sua arte?

How many have actually thought art in a philosophical or existential manner?

Estamos sendo traídos pelo sistema: talvez seja hora de pararmos de nos acusar uns aos outros e pensarmos na CENA de ORIGEM. Sim, aquela que os filósofos invocam quando têm de enfrentar a GRANDE CRISE, ou melhor,  GRANDE ARTE, ou seja: a morte!

We’ve been betrayed by our systems. All systems. Who knows, perhaps or maybe or somehow….a word that hasn’t actually been coined or scorned yet will make us think of the genesis of things. All things. I mean, apart from the FYI’s, we should rethink art as the GREATEST form Of ART itself. Not as a fearful act of expression, but as an act of eternal transgression.

And that’s a huge question.

I’ll leave it up to Hamlet to solve.

Gerald Thomas

29 April 2010

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extraordinarily beautiful stuff

just pay this site a visit and you’ll be surprised.


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vomiting ones life away

Strange to think that we’re all about just surviving, winning, paying bills, getting by, meeting people, answering calls, returning favors, making appointments, falling in love, telling the stories that are there to be told (so many, so unreal it seems), thriving, ‘making it’, stepping up to, stepping down, masturbating thinking of the impossible, taking a look from the distance. Taking a look from a distance, it makes more sense to simply vanish.

These are the words: “for to end yet again” Beckett wrote about. But one thing is to stage these words. It’s quite something else, to be pounded with this feeling over the head.

Every arrival, every departure, a tiny fragment of death. Yet,  the idea of having to “be correct”, “behave correctly” so that we can flip out in our metaphorical lives is insane, yes,  “follow the norm”, a voice says: “follow the norm” and take care of the bills and wondering where the next idea will come from: if it’ll ever come….If it will ever come.


Gerald Thomas

27 April, another 27 April amongst so many 27th of Aprils that have gone by.

PS: A vida não é medida pela quantidade de vezes que respiramos, mas pelos momentos que nos tiram a respiração. Life is not measured by the amount of times you breathe but by the amount of times that they take your breath away. (George Carlin)

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E-Jakull: Bjorg’s revenge

Eyjafjallajokull, that unpronounceable volcano “Jokull” or “E-jakull” (for E-bay shoppers running to buy some radioactive orgasmic ash), prompted inevitable chatter about nature’s awesome fury and the inadequacy of human invention to deal with it. We have become weaklings and that’s a given.  Our major problem is fear itself, I remember hearing some president say, once upon a time.


This picture, of Luiz Damasceno in Nowhere Man must represent something in this article. But what? Is hethe Nowhere Man (my play, 1996) or is he playing me, after the Topamax withdrawal? Had I predicted the entire episode? Or is a victim of the Icelandic ash?

On the whole, Europeans tend to forget about Iceland altogether until some fresh calamity compels their attention, be it financial- the banking implosion – or a furious volcano explosion, spitting and ejaculating over us all: oh E-Kajull !!! Seriously now.

Europe after the Rain” is a painting by Max Ernst I grew up with. Of course, it’s Ernst’s metaphor for a Europe after a War. A huge war. We have become weaklings and that’s a given.

We have dealt with the worst of ourselves and will never come to terms with our own fury about the “existence of the other”. Wars, invasions, exvasions, brutal murders and The Son of Hamas (a double agent for the Israelis and Hamas), are trivia not so trivial.


For those who have taken it, you know.

For those who’ve never taken it: Christ! It’s so damn hard to try and lead a life after a 300mg bombardment of this “mood stabilizer”. Coming out of it is more difficult than having to deal with the over testoronized E-Kajull.

An open forum about psychiatric drugs sounds like a terrible web nightmare. With strong moderation, a supportive atmosphere, and even an over-use monitor, however, the Psycho-drugs seem to be a temporary relief. In Portuguese a psycho-drug is termed “psicotropicos”.

Yes, the Tropical nightmare of Tristes Tropiques, by Claude Levi Strauss.

Max Ernst and Claude Levi Strauss would have made a lovely couple.

Mosab Hassan Yousef (the Son of Hamas, codenamed “the Green Prince” by his handlers), was one of the Shin Bet security service’s most valuable sources. What are our valuable sources?

Where’s your head, Agent Kujan? Where do you think the pressure’s coming from? Keyser Soze – or whatever you want to call him – he knows where I am right now. He’s got the front burner under your ass to let me go so he can scoop me up ten minutes later. Immunity was just a deal with you assholes. I got a whole new problem when I post bail.

Strange thoughts, right?

Yes, strange thoughts for a Sunday.

Gerald Thomas

April 25, 2010, lost in space and in my mind,  somewhere between London and NY.

PS: I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE. What can’t I stand? EVERYTHING and more than Everything. Bye. I’m going for a wilder side of life!

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Isle-landic repetitions: hostages without a cause

The shortest way (sometimes) seems as if it’s the longest.

An oig rig burning out of control in the Gulf of Mexico sank Thursday morning, with 11 workers still missing and the authorities fearing a potential environmental disaster. What are we to make of such things? A few days ago, if I remember a-right, a ship was sinking off the coast of Australia, leaking hundreds of millions of thousands of dozens of tens of billions  of crude oil. Oil. And oil. Oil oil oil. And “our growing dependency on FOREIGN oil” is on the mouth of every president, prime minister, minister, ter or just on every publicly elected  mouth. Mouth. Monmouth.

Yes, we’ve been witnessing disasters like never before. Since the catastrophe in Haiti, so many others followed that …That what?  What? Yes, and Iceland holding us all as hostages without a cause….Strange days. And there is greed. Oh yes, the greed. Not ending, never bending, never minding, always on the foreheads and the forefronts  of our delicious capitalism. So, after the Detroit automotive industry and a daring Health Care plan, Obama now goes to Wall Street and takes on the money guys.

Pushing an overhaul plan for financial regulation on Thursday, president Obama said, “Unless your business model depends on bilking people, there is little to fear from these new rules.” Meaning, “work with us, not against US”.

Speaking in the bankers’ backyard inManhattan (what is a banker’s backyard? What does it grow? Alan Greenspan trees?), Mr. Obama castigated a “failure of responsibility” by Wall Street that led to the financial crisis of 2008, and he pressed his case for what he called “a common-sense, reasonable, non-ideological” system of tighter regulation to prevent any recurrence. He took issue with the claim that his proposal would institutionalize the idea of future bailouts of huge banks. Let me repeat this: “institutionalize the idea of future bailouts of huge banks”. I wonder what all this really means.

Oh yes, the banker’s backyard and the “natural” disasters that have rocked Haiti, Chile, China…the unnatural disasters that make us smaller and smaller by the day, by the hour: the ash cloud pending over our heads for a week here in Europe: a cloud of ash and TEN straight days of pure (I mean pure) sunshine in London. Not a drop of rain. Just police activity, but not a drop of rain.

As I actually write this, the 3 candidates are debating (in Bristol), on British Television. The very 1st televized debate here in the UK. It took the Brits 40 years to repeat or to imitate the US pattern of a Presidential debate: now they’re talking about whether or not to get “closer” to the European Union, or stay away from the Brussel sprouts.

What do the 3 have in common?: President Obama.  Obama has become the number ONE reference for the British candidates. It’s amazing, if not funny, how “the buck stops here” (G. Brown) or “guys, you (Cameron) are either anti European or anti American. Again, Gordon Brown’s words against the constant rhetoric dribbling out of Cameron’s mouth: CHANGE ! CHANGE! . Yes, the “Obama era” is here and it’s staying.

Nick Clegg and the 2 others are good performers. There’s something America can certainly learn. American candidates do not perform well. No education. McCain’s morose speeches were based on GOP cheering and nothing else. Oh yes, there was the POW drill, always: “I was tortured in Vietnam and so on….”. Does past torture a good president make?

But here in the British isles there are no women competing. No women since Thatcher. No women since Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth…well, Queen Elizabeth. What can one say? Nothing. That she picked a fight with Annie Leibovitz and???

The level of discussion or, say, the argument is far more intelligent here in England. That is a given fact.

Walk the walk and talk the talk.”

As I was sketching out a column, along with the withdrawal symptoms of the (serious) Topamax effects, I began to write what the candidates then actually said: “Walk the walk and talk the talk.” I don’t walk. I do indeed (seriously now)… talk.

So, please forgive me for any….Well, it’s the lack of Topamax in my system. I’m not on any ‘legal high’ , believe me. Just the wonderful cup of coffee (blended with ice, a sort of coffee shake), from Patisserie Valerie.

Tell me, for real: do we need Jim Cameron  (who makes the biggest fortune with his mediocre films)….do we need him to teach Brazilians just because he spent some days (or maybe more, who cares?), amongst a tribe of Brazilian Indians? How does it sound when a film director  takes on the “save the rain forest” campaign and tells the world what Lula is doing wrong or right?

Everything (or maybe nothing) seems more surreal than a withdrawal.

Zweig. Zweig means twig, branch.

Twig. Stephan Zweig committed suicide.

Branches and twigs, however, is what Beckett meant when he planted a tree in the middle of the set for Didi or Estragon to hang themselves in “Waiting for Godot”.

We have become disaster watchers. Oil.

Change. We have become witnesses to television crews being embedded in tanks in some mountain in Pakistan or something. We’re passive when film directors tell us “what is” and “what isn’t” (remember? Titanic sank!) and when Labour, Tory or Liberal Democrats copy a system which is, as I write, being dismantled. While America is deconstructing its system, Britain is trying to build a version of America (not aversion). An isle-landic version of what America once was. Oh, the colonoscopy! Oh, the colonies!

Is Kafka having a ball? Well, if not, then he should. Is Orwell turning in his grave? Huxley? Are they all meeting silently with Stephan Zweig and talking about the dry tree? The last tree? The last tree on earth?

Sad, very sad update: bombings kill hundreds in Iraq. Why are we there? oh yes, Oil.

Gerald Thomas

London 23 April 2010

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Grounded: no way in, none out

no way in, none out


No flights in, none out. Imagine that

Sounds like Beckett, looks like Beckett  and plays like Beckett. Including the volcanic ash cloud over our heads”. But it’s not Beckett.

Strange thing, this ‘volcanic cloud’. We’re told to wear masks. But how can I? My face is, in itself,  a mask.

What? Wear one over the other?

My London” isn’t mine anymore”

Better still, doesn’t seem to be. Always safer to speak hypothetically. Why? Because things “aren’t” or things “are”, depending of the time of day or night, depending on so many things that – a City of this magnitude is only (really) nothing but a state of mind. No way in, none out!

London now belongs to muggers, thieves of all kinds. From what I’ve been hearing or overhearing  and actually underhearing whilst eavesdropping amongst the ashes of yesteryear, everyone is having some sort of a problem with ‘identity theft’, actual theft and, pickpocketting and legends of the sort.

“I’m wired wrong”.  I overheard someone saying something like it. A City can be wired wrongly.

Writing or breathing under the spell of a volcanic ash cloud, makes me wonder if people are actually thinking right, in the right direction, in the writing direction. Uh, this is becoming a complicated way to say that….I saw, I witnessed some incredible Police activity.

London is becoming a dangerous town. Over the weekend, six friends have had their bags stolen, their apartments invaded and “cleaned out” and….I saw a scene close to 10 Downing Street that in 55 years on this planet I don’t recall ever seeing.

A white tall half drunk dude, holding a teddy bear in his hands was (literally) grabbed by the police and MI5, and other security agents on Whitehall, where the fingers or hands of the Big Ben sound like the ending of time itself: the un-Big Bang.

What I saw live is what I see on TV in America: cops from all sides holding a gun to this guy’s head. HOLD YOUR HEAD DOWN – DOWN – DOWN I said DOWN!!!!

Strangely enough, his head was down. And with a gun pointed right at it.


Could the teddy bear be and IED or a proper explosive?

Then, on Sunday (sunny morning, hundreds of thousands of people walking and sunbathing in Hyde Park…), police cars from all sides, sirens ringing, roaring, groaning from north , east, west and south, STOP. They stop a vehicle!

A white car. This white car was right in front of mine.The driver is grabbed by the most aggressive police activity, brutal forced and yanked out of the car and onto the tarmac.

I didn’t overhear a thing: we were told to MOVE!!!

Clockwise and Anti Clockwise

“PORRIDGE, an episode of crassness.”

What a language assault! Porridge! Imagine that. Oatmeal. Much  easier for the ear and the eye.

That will be the next chapter.

Please be patient. Queen Victoria was. Patient, I mean. See what happens?

Gerald Thomas

19 April 2010


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Wrong information!!!!

This tiny note says that I will be the curator of Afro Reaggae’s theater or cultural center in Vigario Geral, Rio. It’s not quite that way. They did get in touch with me and I replied: I live in London and in New York and how am I expected to be the curator (virtual, perhaps?)  of a theater in Rio? But the press publishes anything they want, without running it by me. They all have my email addresses and/or phone numbers.Is it really so difficult to make a goddamn call?

not quite true

Gerald ThomasLondon 18 April 2010

PS: in Jornal do Brasil, this Sunday, MORE …

JB online
Em 2008, Gerald Thomas se arriscou em formato híbrido No Brasil, em 2008, Gerald Thomas lançou mão das possibilidades da rede para produzir e veicular uma linguagem teatral híbrida que denominou “blog novela”. A experiência ficou no primeiro episódio, O cão que insultava mulheres – Kepler, the dog (2008), encenado no Sesc Avenida Paulista e transmitido em tempo real no blog que o diretor pilotava no portal Ig. A tentativa de criar uma dramaturgia interativa, esculpida a partir dos comentários que os internautas postavam em seu blog, era motivada por uma insatisfação pessoal. “Teatro é chato pra burro. Blog tá meio chato. Jornal é chato. A internet tem essas possibilidades. Resolvi então criar um híbrido”, comentou o autor sobre a ideia à época. Tempos depois, em setembro de 2009, ao longo de uma série de entrevistas em que anunciava o seu afastamento por tempo indeterminado do teatro, Thomas, um tanto quanto desencantado com a produção artística contemporânea, tomava partido contrário, e insurgia com ceticismo ante à convergência de mídias. “Teatro não é tecnologia, é algo para que o público esteja na presença do ator, a metros dele. Se você tenta transformar em tecnologia, fica pretensioso. Essa integração de mídias é a maior mentira que já houve”, disse. Procurado agora pela reportagem do Jornal do Brasil, Thomas foi sucinto: – Vamos ver se tenho saco para isso. Melhor perguntar para os “outros diretores”. Boa sorte – respondeu, por e-mail.

UPDATE , April 20

Correction was made by Gente Boa:

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Folha de S Paulo – livro de Silvia Fernandes e o preço que se paga por CRIAR

São Paulo, sábado, 17 de abril de 2010
Texto AnteriorPróximo TextoÍndice


Paga-se um preço ao criar e paga-se outro por imitar

A partir de livro da professora e pesquisadora Sílvia Fernandes, diretor Gerald Thomas analisa o teatro contemporâneo e aponta a falta de originalidade deste


Existe um momento quando o teu passado te bate na cara, atropela seus rins e fígados e te deixa em estado de êxtase e dor. Eu estava aqui em Londres, quando me chega o livro de Sílvia Fernandes, “Teatralidades Contemporâneas”.
Trata-se de uma obra densa e compreende muita informação sobre a atualidade (ou não atualidade) do teatro mundial e explora as variantes sobre a vida no palco dessas últimas três décadas. Esse livro foi escrito ao longo de dez anos.
A introdução do livro me menciona de forma incrivelmente simpática. Sempre me senti um ponto de entrada, mas entendo que agora eu seja um ponto de partida. É a vida!
Mas a Sílvia não comete o engano que tantos acadêmicos cometem quando “classificam” uma arte qualquer ou fazem uma “melange” de todas as artes. Sílvia Fernandes toma partido. É uma crítica durona e isso é maravilhoso. Somos muitos nesse livro, ou melhor, somos “todos”. Mas somos, apesar de seres originais, personagens também.
Com exceção de um ou outro, que Sílvia aponta como “o pastiche de todos” ou o imitador sem caráter, somos os personagens ativos numa longa jornada teatral dantesca, brutal, darwiniana, em que a sobrevivência não é a do mais forte, mas do mais persistente.
Falo e escrevo na primeira pessoa. O que seria um diretor sem caráter? Em inglês, esse duplo sentido até que chega a ser engraçado. “Character” significa “personagem” e o teatro é feito deles. E a Sílvia deixa claro quem começou, quem imitou, quem se limitou, quem segue ou quem persegue os verdadeiros “characters”.
Agora, tendo me despedido do teatro através de um artigo no velho blog, mas que está como manifesto no novo blog (, vejo minha vida teatral e operística com enorme saudades, mas com uma tremenda resolução: sou um “ponto zero”, um ponto falho, se deixei falhas enormes para trás. Qual ponto falho?
O teatro é uma arte para poucos. Ele sempre existirá, porque o ego de quem se exibe nos palcos sempre estará maior. Esse ego quer explodir, quer se mostrar, quer berrar e ser “tocado” pelo público. Mas o problema é que não estão dizendo nada. Nada que interesse. Então, temos egos vazios, cantando aberrações em tonalidades de cores que se confundem com aquilo que era uma pintura original da época em que se tinha algo a dizer.
Me diverti com texto do crítico de teatro da Folha, Luiz Fernando Ramos, sobre um espetáculo: “Fulano de tal se revela sem rumo nem estilo, como se fosse mais importante soar genial do que servir à obra. Essa fraqueza fica explícita nos três momentos em que as luzes da suposta sala de cinema se acendem. No mais provocativo, quando os atores permanecem olhando o público em silêncio por minutos, repete-se gesto de Gerald Thomas de 20 anos atrás, com menos brilho e mais afetação.
A tal peça queria ser uma bofetada no gosto do público. Consegue ser chata, apesar de desempenhos vigorosos dos intérpretes, da linda iluminação e do cenário funcional de Daniela Thomas.”
Por que me divirto? Porque Ramos se refere ao meu espetáculo “M.O.R.T.E.” (1990) e porque em “Teatralidades…”, o mesmo sujeito é descrito como meu “fiel seguidor”. Onde termina a homenagem e começa o plágio? Ou quando tudo vira caso de polícia?
O que acontece? Falta cultura a essa “falta de cultura?” Sim, pelo que Sílvia aponta existe uma enorme originalidade no teatro das últimas décadas. Se isso não resume a crise e o inescrupulismo em que vivemos, o que mais posso dizer? Uma “nação teatral” conquista sua história com independência, sangue e formula sua própria “constituição” através de uma, duas, três ou mais revoluções.
“MUDAR O MUNDO” (palavras sabias de Julian Beck). Tudo isso tem um preço. Um preço alto e, por isso, o teatro não está mais “mudando o mundo”. Paga-se um preço ao criar, paga-se outro por imitar.
O “teatro-supermercado” de “gadgets” que precisamos para viver é algo chato e sem pensamentos a respeito de si. O teatro não se repensa há tempos. A arte que repete ou imita é retórica, mas não tem opinião!
É a morte, a minha M.O.R.T.E., que significa: “Movimentos Obsessivos e Redundantes para Tanta Estética”. Poucos, nesses 30 anos de teatro revisitados por Sílvia, são pensadores originais da arte. O resto obceca em torno de uma estética velha. Não sei se devo ou não agradecer por essa desgraça.

GERALD THOMAS é diretor e autor teatral


Autor: Sílvia Fernandes
Editora: Perspectiva
Quanto: R$ 40 (288 págs)

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Suicide Note part 25

Suicide Note

Wrists cut open, blood everywhere. Not my blood.  No Royal blood here.

How it all started?  A few things I’m making a tremendous effort to remember.  I read this on a wall somewhere. Or on the WALL, the Berlin Wall when it was still up and standing.

(images of a Wall crumbling, possibly the Berlin Wall)Sprayed  on the wall: “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.”

“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”

In fact, it all happened so fast, I think. There I was, staring at this wall as it was suddenly being torn down and the entire world was there to celebrate it. Those sentences I was staring at were being dismantled, destroyed as the Wall was being destroyed. Should that mean that the meaning of their content was also becoming meaningless?

Hospital: yet, these faces where hanging over mine and the questions becoming more and more annoying: “are you feeling better?”

Sidewalk: yet, these faces where hanging over mine and the questions becoming more and more annoying: “are you feeling better?”

My father, o yes, I remember him, was standing on one of those wooden platforms that West Berlin had built to overlook East Berlin.

And now? Now I am.


Yes…. standing on one of those wooden platforms that West Berlin had built to overlook East Berlin.

I thought we were on Cornelia Street.

My father and I: His eyes, all tears. He simply could not understand what had happened to his city. They had CUT IT SHUT, doubled it, while I’m cut here all open trying to remember….I am desperately trying to remember.

Hospital: what really matters, such as, for instance, matters regarding my own survival?

Meaning…I am not a spy or a double agent. I’m a playwright and a stage director of theater and opera.

Yet, someone is writing my life for me. A Ghost writer? Some double, maybe.

Yes, it’s slowly coming back to me. The orgies, the great and wonderful cunts and ass holes and my life in hotels….

After all, Sam Beckett had been to Tunisia numerous times….and had Arab connections. But if this story were to have been written by anyone else, it obviously appeared to be much more in the style of …better shut up.

You have no idea where you are: they captured you after you fell on the street and your blood….

Reagan had warned Gorbachev and the world came to Berlin. Is that where I am? Why all these Arabs then?

I feel like Guernica. The painting, I mean.

“What? What was that?“, a lonely voice shouts from the dark. It’s the voice from another agent, perhaps another double agent.

Voices in my ears.

A bitter taste in my mouth.

Dry throat.

Maybe the note implanted in me – “you are S-trapped” came from …“What? What was that?“, a lonely voice shouts from the dark. It’s the voice from another agent, perhaps another double agent.



Gerald Thomas

London – 15 April 2010


LONDON — British civil aviation authorities ordered the closure of the country’s airspace as of noon on Thursday to shield aircraft from a high-altitude cloud of ash drifting south and east from an erupting volcano in Iceland. The plume shut down airports and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights in a wide arc from Ireland to Scandinavia.


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We are all Polish!

When I look at this photo, what am I to think?

The symbolism is just amazing.

As the body of Poland’s president was returned to this traumatized capital on Sunday, a day after he and dozens of top Polish political and military leaders died in a plane crash in western Russia, the country was in mourning but there was already a sense that its young democracy had passed a major test.

But I do remember what were the most painful moments of my life. The months I spent living in Cracaw, rehearsing Mozart’s unfinished “Zaide”.

Back to that later.

The plane crash, which killed 96 people when the presidential plane went down about a half mile from the runway in the Russian city of Smolensk, was a trial that the 20-year-old democracy was handling with aplomb! Cingrats!  And a goodbye to a Tupolev which shouldn’t have been in the air to begin with, since LOT (Poland’s official airline), got rid of 200 in its fleet, long ago.

Poland – through the eyes and the writing of Jan Kott – is what taught me the works of noneless than William Shakespeare. “Shakespeare Our Contemporary” (next to Peter Brook’s “Empty Space”) is the book of my youth. Far more important than the romantically driven Harold Bloom (also on Shakespeare: “the invention of the human), Kott brings Shakespeare’s words to our century.

Yes, this is it. Shakespeare was Polish. For once, not a Polish joke. Shakespeare hid himself behind the role of Polonius.

And I, therefore, owe my experience in Cracaw to a French millionaire and diletant who backed Zaide, the opera that turned out to be a disaster when it opened at Maggio Musicale in May 1995, In Firenze.

Taking the entire Christian cast to Auschwitz and not shedding one tear. Taking the cast out to witness life!

Yes, that was quite something. Of course I was chastised by all of them when, upon leaving the Camp, right under the recently stolen arch of “Arbeit Macht Frei”, I said to the singers: “I want that hot dog over there”, spreading its odour through the foul air of the deathbed of six million Jews, Gypsies, people with physical anomalies and so on.

I went over to the stand and ordered one. No ketchup. Plain. Must I say that I  puked/threw up/vomited  it all over my girlfriend’s lap during our trip back to Cracaw?  Well, I just said it, but man… was worth it.

So when I look at the photo of that crashed plane, what do I think of?

Sturmspiel, my play in  Munich in 1989? Yes, it was  Shakespeare’s “Tempest –Play”, which began with a downed plane hitting Prospero in the balls.

Joseph Campbell would have loved to have seen this, had he not been dead. Yes, Kott would have loved it too: new world of exciting ideas opened up to Campbell while studying in Europe. Campbell’s “The Power of the Myth” brings out what we are and who we are at the time of someone’s death.

Queen Victoria was of mostly of German descent, the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and granddaughter of George III and the niece of her predecessor William IV.  Queen Victoria was not on the plane that crashed.

Victoria was taught only German until she was three years old. She was subsequently taught French and English as well, and became virtually trilingual. Her mother spoke German with her. Very much like Poland, Queen Victoria was idiomatically raped. Poland has always been raped.

But yesterday’s events were the real tragedy. Unheard of. A premiere in History.

Queen Victoria’s command of English, although good, was not perfect as is the case with so many Polish friends I have.

As Victoria’s monarchy became more symbolic than political, it placed a strong emphasis on morality and family values, in contrast to the sexual, financial and personal scandals that had been associated with previous members of the House of Hanover. Is Queen Victoria a figment of our imagination? Is Poland?

And what symbolism should I resort to when I say that “we’re all a mess” or that “there is a Polish being in all of us”?

On my desktop, table,  rather, I have one only book, staring me in the face: it’s called SON OF HAMAS, which happens to be the diary of Mosab Hassan Youseff.

Last night, a friend sent me, via email, the last episode of “Law & Order Criminal Intent”. The name of the villain was Hassan, who was about to start a new country or reign in Africa, based on pirating. This episode – in itself was a tragedy: Erci Bogosian had been killed in the previous chapter (which I saw at home in NY). D’Onofrio is about to be fired and the entire cast is to be replaced. Why? What went wrong here? Jeff Goldblum (nothing against you , my friend), takes over as the main detective  but the questions remain:

Who is it that kills us and makes us alive so many times per day???

Yes, I had lost eight people in a single concentration camp: Auschwitz and did not shed a single tear. Quite remarkable, hey?

Yet, I saw their faces for the first time. The Germans had kept a very meticulous diary or logbook of who went and how they went. Yes, the did go!

Youseff is a double agent for Hamas and The Mossad. He worked provincially. Shakespeare did not.

Williamsburg or Greenpoint in Brooklyn, where I spent 22 years of my life, was all Polish when Philip Glass and I moved in. Nobody spoke a word of English. It was a province on the East River, in a way.

Yet, I am simply astonished that – on the cover of Murdoch’s “Sunday Times”, the plane crash appears on page 25. Instead, Tiger Woods – coming out of the woods, is on the cover saying the usual ridiculous things.

The entire thing (Kott would agree with me), is obviously a plot. Woods never ever “betrayed” his wife or had any affairs. This was all arranged to call attention to the world’s most boring sport: golf.

Just as James Cameron is on the front page of the New York Times defending the survival of a dull group of Brazilian Indians. Cameron is now

a Xingu River defender. I mean, I couldn’t help but have a nervous attack. I mean, let’s play this down. I had a laughter attack. More suitable.

“Save the Rain Forest Campaign” (remember?). The Polish president died in the woods, but not in a forest. It was foggy but it wasn’t raining.

Sting assaulting (Yes, that is the right word, ‘assaulting’!) along with the former owner of the Bodyshop raping some image of the Amazon. Raping the campaign of its principles, of its money just as (never mind). I cannot afford to be sued.

Yes, a meeting atop the “round tower” of the Hilton Hotel in São Paulo, opposite the infamous Copan building. No, I won’t get into details.

There’s a Pole inside all of us. There’s a Polish being inside all of us. Kantor, Grotowski, Chopin, Joseph Conrad and Copernicus and, of course, Polonius (Shakespeare). Who is for real in all of this?

Would it be Yousef, the “son of Hamas”?

I remember being given Access to the underground passages beneath the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and coming out on the other side: Via Dolorosa, Via Cruxis where tourists would be carrying a fake cross and…

(no, never mind that either).

Sturmspiel, at the Munich State Theater dealt with all these issues, plus one: the Berlin Wall. Yes, about a year before it collapsed. I am its author and director. Now, someone wants to make a movie out of what Die Zeit ridiculed at the time.

Nothing like the passage of time. It wrinkles us as if we were raisins. It dumbs and numbs us, as we become wiser and more adventurous.

In Jerusalem, I simply wanted to stay on. Meaning, stay a little longer to see all the gold the Roman’s hid underneath the Holy Land. And so, I said to my crew: “bye, I’m staying/ dry land/dry desert, dry opera and the Dead Sea where I floated for hours ….and the Mud? Dead Sea Mud.

I used it for a long time, after all, Ahava packages it.

Nobody is packaging the mud that overwhelms Rio de Janeiro after a week of constant flooding!

Christ! Brazil is so provincial. PACKAGE THE MUD AND SELL IT internationally as DEAD RAIN.

The President of Poland dies in an unprecedented crash and the New York Times recognizes its importance: the horrifyingly beautiful photo of the crashed plane is on the front Page of the NYTimes. That was yesterday.

While Folha de Sao Paulo prints two photos of Jose Serra, a possible candidate in the next election for President in  Brazil.

Queen Victoria determined that Engel-Land was an island as Hamlet had also done, via Rosencranz.

But the real island belongs to those who choose not to see, blindness by choice.

Brazil is an island and its blindness infuriates me. And before I infuriate anyone out there any further let me say this: the death of the Polish president touched me in an unprecedented manner. Since Solidarienosk, Walensa and all the people who got rid of Jeruselski, I am, as we all are, Polish at heart. It was the airborne division from Poland, their pilots and so on, that saved England in a major way.

Why? Because our blood is NOT holy and we’re NOT eternal. This is something they, the Polish understand.

Why the fuck is it, that we are incapable of understanding suffering in such a dignified, horrendously vivid way?

Gerald Thomas

London -11 April, 2010

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Welcome to the new blog: “same as the old blog”? No.

Hello everyone.

This blog will not accept comments as did the old one. This is a page where I’ll express my views, post videos, talk about various issues, but I, after more than 2 million visits and…I don’t know how many comments (I think the number totals around 83.000) , this new blog will be  “my internal monologue” and/or diary which I will share with you, about the bright side of life and the daily atrocities.

This is where we left off:

So, for now, welcome aboard.


Gerald Thomas

London and NY

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About my imitators: “Peça falha ao homenagear o cinema”, says Folha de S Paulo

São Paulo, quarta-feira, 07 de abril de 2010

Crítica/ “Cinema”

Peça falha ao homenagear o cinema

Em espetáculo sem rumo e sem estilo, Felipe Hirsh perde-se entre o exagero e a representação que se quer realista

Nada contra as preferências do Hirsh cinéfilo, mas com essas incisões ele apequena a proposta e se revela sem rumo nem estilo, como se fosse mais importante soar genial do que servir à obra. Essa fraqueza fica explícita nos três momentos em que as luzes da suposta sala de cinema se acendem.

No mais provocativo, quando os atores permanecem olhando o público em silêncio por minutos, repete-se gesto de Gerald Thomas de vinte anos atrás, com menos brilho e mais afetação.
“Cinema” queria ser uma bofetada no gosto do público. Consegue ser chato, apesar de desempenhos vigorosos dos intérpretes, da linda iluminação e do cenário funcional de Daniela Thomas.

PS from GERALD: in the (s0 called) pause/frozen frame where the critic writes: “quando os atores permanecem olhando o público em silêncio por minutos, repete-se gesto de Gerald Thomas de vinte anos atrás, com menos brilho e mais afetação”, he is referring to M.O.R.T.E, (1990) where the actors STARE at the audience for SEVEN amazing minutes, bringing the audience into a frenzy: eventually, these SEVEN minutes became a “stage of exposure” for artists present in the theater as what we call “the public”, i.e. the theatergoer.

In Taormina, Italy, as well as in many other parts of the world, poets came on stage, dancers climbed onto the stage and the SEVEN minutes became known as a performance outlet for the lesser known….

BUT the imitator has never traveled with his pieces. He’s what we call a tapeworm or a provincial and ‘local’ frustrated non-author, doomed to die where he was born.

Gerald Thomas, London Aril 9, 2010

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