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Howard Barker’s theatre is characterized by its tragic scale and its distinctive way of exposing the unconscious resistances that underlie apparent social unanimity, both in the sexual and political spheres.
Barker’s play, BLOK/EKO, is a large-scale drama about death and its status in the world. Eko, an ageing despot, seemingly on a whim liquidates the entire medical profession, asserting that consolation – in the form of song – is a better way with sickness than drugs or surgery. A connoisseur herself, she knows great song is itself the distillation of suffering and so deliberately exposes her greatest poet Tot to a life of crime, poverty and humiliation in order to extract from him his finest work.
BLOK/EKO is the first outcome of Barker’s residence as Creative Fellow at the University of Exeter (2010-2012) and the main element of his Plethora/Bare Sufficiency project.