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EnglishPart of Humanities

What's up, Doc?

Published: 20 May 2013
Dr Devorah Baum

Lecturer in English Literature and Critical Theory Devorah Baum has been working with Man Booker shortlisted author Hisham Matar as part of Menagerie Theatre’s Hotbed New Writing Festival project, What’s up Doc.

What’s up Doc? is a commissioning project designed to bring ideas and people together. Each commission is a play written and created in response to a question or challenge established by a ‘Doc’ – a thought leader in their field - in conversation or correspondence with a writer.

How to Begin, the fruit of a collaboration between Hisham and Devorah, emerged from a number of conversations about ‘a kind of mania that arises in relation to the inaccessibility of one's origins, the inability to grasp one's own life story or know oneself, or anyone else, and the myth of originality that drives us to want to start over and begin again and again and again’. According to Devorah, ‘Hisham captures this very well in the speaking voice of his monologue, which reminds me of something Derrida says somewhere about how when one begins to speak one always feels one has said too much, and by the same token, never enough’.

How to Begin will be performed at theatres in Cambridge, Colchester, London, and Bury St Edmunds in July. For more information on the project or to book tickets, visit Menagerie Theatre’s website.

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