Birmingham Stage Company

What's the point?

26 February 2013

In an article about the incredible Alice Herz-Sommer who I had never heard of before, I was touched by what Stephen Hough wrote about what music can achieve: "To lift us out of ourselves, to point beyond, to awaken a sense of the 'other'." I think the very best theatre strives for the same thing - to illuminate the human condition, to help us understand what it is to be human. Alice Herz-Sommer was 110 when she died last Sunday. Amongst a lifetime on earth, she was in Theresienstadt concentration camp for two years where her piano playing saved her life. I was struck by the photos of her enjoying life in her centenary. Not long before she died, she said "I think I am in my last days, but it doesn't really matter because I have had such a beautiful life. And life is beautiful, love is beautiful, nature and music are beautiful. Everything we experience is a gift, a present we should cherish and pass on to those we love." You can see it all in her face.

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