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elements of style in the street of crocodiles

The production of The Street of Crocodiles presented by Theatre de Complicite at the Queens Theatre in London exhibits evidence of a broad variety of theatrical styles. Adding to the complexity of theshows rich composition is the truth that it is a devised piece of theatrical work. The groups body ofwork has been widely regarded as innovative, garnering a number of major awards and nominationsin the recent past. Dedicated to the collaborative manner in which this production has beendeveloped, the inventors of this staging have guaranteed an intricate weave of dramatic elements. In the1999 published text of the work Simon McBurney and Mark Wheatley are credited asthe adapters. The copyright also goes to them. Their original source material starts with the work ofthe Polish writer Bruno Schulz published in his collected works, The Street of Crocodiles &Sanitorium Under The Sign of the Hourglass currently available from Picador. Other writings ofSchulz used for the basis of the dramatic text include additional short stories and letters. Althoughthey never appear on stage, it is unlikely that the illustrations penned by Schulz were ignored asinspirations.Work on this project began at the Royal National Theatre Studio in 1991. Simon McBurney,Co-founder and Artistic Director of Theatre de Complicite, has served as the shows director sincethis time. Jacob Schulz, Brunos nephew, worked with the company as they developed the show. Hisrelationship with the play remained ongoing through its continued growth until his death in 1997. Jacob is credited as providing a bridge between the past and the present by McBurney and Wheatleyin their notes on the script. His input continued to illuminate not only the character of his uncle but also the world inwhich he wrote and lived. There is often a lyrical, often somewhat pastoral quality to much of BrunoSchulzs writing. The external reality so closely associated with the subjects and se...

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