Roy Hart Performing 'Biodrame' by Serge Béhar. Paris 1972

On the 27th April 1975, Roy Hart and Paul Silber had a conversation over lunch. It was one of the last they were ever to have together. The encounter occurred during a time of intense rehearsals of L'Economiste . Three weeks later, Roy Hart died in a car accident outside Nice, southern France. For some unknown reason Roy had asked Paul to record the conversation. This had never happened before! Here is a trascription of part of their dialogue.



I have had the feeling recently Roy, that you have been increasingly aware of, and carefull with, my recently increased sensitivity to everything around me.


Well, that's exactly right Paul, because this is really the whole point, the whole purpose and meaning of why we are talking like this today - it is my way, after all these years of constantly working with you, suffering with you, attacking you, being attacked by you - it is my way of bringing myself closer to you but not with my brain.

I left RADA because I left the framework in which people said 'Roy Hart - Scholarship student, he's an actor'. I left that in order to go back into the world of non-art or humanity, because I couldn't stand the split between art and humanity. But obviously I have never really left it at all. I've been in it all the time only I have been trying to close the gap between the two. I have provoked and evoked in everybody that I have met, the idea that the extension of the vocal range is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end and that end is the extension of the personality. So from the word go, I have sown the seeds of the need to open the potential in oneself, the need to discover that you are more than you think you are and, of course, one can't get to this point without terrible problems of the inflation of the ego. Therefore, I have constantly tried to evoke the idea that artists are born and not made, when it suits me. In other words, when I feel somebody's been so obviously idiotically inflated, then I'm forced to say 'Look, go back to where you came from', or, 'What do you think you're doing here?' or something like that. But I don't believe in that. I only say it when I can see that the person involved is not sufficiently humble to recognise that although it has been written that every human being has a soul (which means that every human being has the capacity to be something, to be somebody) the brain, the non humble part, is so excruciatingly banal, that it thinks it can heal the rift between art and humanity just by fantasising it into being.

No - and this is really the point to repeat - I have brought myself closer to you today, after all these years, in order to continue to resonate in you the proper relationship in you to your artistic self and in order to do this, I have evoked the word 'friendship'. ...."

Transcribed by Paul Silber, Malérargues 2009


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