The programme note of It’s Not Over tells us that It’s Not Over is not a play but a political campaign. So how then should it be judged? As art or as politics? What It’s Not Over actually tells us though is that a more nuanced categorisation is needed, one that distinguishes between “politics” and “politiks”. Politics is the world of real life, it is dirty and ambiguous, it is made of emotions - it is made of stories. Politiks is made of narratives – it is clean and simple. It is the world of flag waving, of slogans, campaign jumpers and neatly packaged images of dead children on Mediterranean beaches. It’s Not Over is full of stories, but it is about narratives, about how politiks absorbs the stories of real lives to create its distorted narratives, and this is in full effect as the directors move silently amongst the actors putting words in their mouths, to be repeated without question. It is a violence of power. But politics, the everyday, is violence too; it is disagreement and survival, it is your opinion or mine. It’s Not Over is not comfortable. The audience constantly has to move and the threat of violence is ever present. The performances are affecting – emotional and darkly comic. A dead deer is carried through the stage – something pure that is dead. It’s Not Over is not comfortable because it asks questions that don’t have easy answers, that have multiple answers, multiple truths. In that sense it is good art, and therefore good politics. But it comes undone momentarily, when it has a brush with politiks. For a brief second it tries to answer its own questions, to tell us why ‘it’s not over’; in that second it reveals how easy it is to slip from stories to narratives.
Tom for DRAFF
It's Not Over by THEATREclub runs at The Samuel Beckett Theatre as part of Dublin Theatre Festival until October 16th. Image: Babs Daly