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Eternity In An Hour (And 10 Minutes): Blake 2.0 – (Fringe Festival 2010)

by Stephen Tortora-Lee on August 21, 2010

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To see a World in a grain of sand,
And Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

William Blake belongs on Off-Off-Broadway.  Or at least he would have appreciated it, because of his belief that Art should be about Imagination rather than style and fashion of what people expect a work to be like just so that it can become more commercially acceptable.  He said in response to his contemporaries, “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.” He had strong beliefs in trying to touch the mind of God through soaring visions of what he believed beauty really was.  By doing this, he was fundamental in the creation of Romanticism – which was the genesis of many other more modern movements in philosophy and the arts . . .  either directly or by inspiration.

Eternity In An Hour (written by Tim Bruce [after the works of William Blake] and directed by Eric Loren and Monia Giovannangeli) is a perfect tribute to a man who was influential in creating the ideas that were fundamental in creating modernity, yet so ahead of his time that he was considered mad by his peers.  Also, in re-exposing our new generation to what has now become the classical roots of our modern arts and sciences, it helps us imagine where we could go next artistically and philosophically.

As we see Blake’s (Tim Bruce) life relived in front of us we are guided through the transitions by “The Bard” (Victor Vertunni) who speaks and sings – moving us between different stages in Blake’ life, and Carl-Johan Haggman who created the music that is a perfect accompaniment to Blake’s words. Haggman also serves as  Master of Percussion  - as he creates a beat or a tune or clang with more than a dozen instruments that he uses throughout the play.  The rest of the cast are great in portraying all the people who were pivotal through Blake’s life – and each perform two or three roles each.  (Monia Giovannangeli, Marja Merisalo, Nicolette van T’hek, Leo Vertunni respectively).

To end things on a lighter note:

How is this show and a utility closet in Heaven the same? They’re  both full of lots of divine stuff.

But seriously folks, this is a good  refresher course on all things dealing with this 18th century founding father of the Romantic Age as well a review of his poetry set to music with diverse and creative percussion and guitar all wrapped up in a multimedia extravaganza.

Here is a summary which will give you more information.  Theatre of Eternal Values, an international theatre group “with a passionate belief in the power of theatrical performance to heighten self-awareness and inspire positive social change”

See Eternity In An Hour in it’s last Fringe show  8/22/2010 at 2:00 PM. Be there  and maybe you’ll be inspired to create your own System For A New World.


Theatre of Eternal Values
Writer: Tim Bruce (after the works of William Blake), Music by Victor Vertunni
Director: Eric Loren and Monia Giovannangeli
Choreographer: Monia Giovannangeli and Marja Merisalo

1h 10m

VENUE #13: The New School for Drama Theatre
Click below to purchase tickets:
Sun 22 @ 2
To see a World in a grain of sand,
And Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
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