Edith Sitwell: Lady Gaga 1.0
9 July 2010 § Leave a Comment
Edith Sitwell (1887-1964) – poet, critic, performance artist
Sitwell published a collection of poems called Facade, beginning in 1918. In 1922, she worked with the composer and conductor William Walton to create a performance of these poems for the stage. Along with Sitwell’s spoken word and Walton’s music, the audience was surprised to find the entire show was a static curtain painted by John Piper to represent a large face. Where the mouth should be was a hole. Behind the curtain sat Edith Sitwell, invisible to the audience, reciting the poetry through a megaphone into the hole.
Original reviewers described the face as half red, half white, with the megaphone protruding from the hole. Although one reviewer was a bit hostile to the performance, and one lukewarm at best, most were receptive and positive. The crowd, reportedly, was surprised and amused.