I’ve chosen Mrs Dalloway for the first audio gallery recording of 2018.
The opening extract (above) follows Clarissa Dalloway at the start of a particular day in June on which she is to give a party.
We walk through London with Clarissa and become an invisible partner to her thoughts, memories, and observations, as she moves seamlessly from one person and time to the next in her reflections.
I have visited and re-visited the opening of Mrs Dalloway over the last year, due in part to my love of Max Richter’s score for Woolfworks,
In the ballet, this part of the story is performed by dancers that represent the Clarissa of the present, a Clarissa at 18, and the corresponding characters of Clarissa’s thoughts and reflections. Richter’s ‘In the Garden’ scores this sequence, and it captures the subtle complexity of the characters’ interactions, as well as those aspects of their internal worlds that fall in and out of play as the events of the day unfold.
I became a fan of Richter’s score some time before I was able to watch this sequence during the BBC broadcast of Woolfworks last year, and it was wonderful to finally see how the choreography could technically explore the open and non-linear narrative of Mrs Dalloway, whilst also capturing this story of a day in post-war London so tenderly.
On my return to Woolf’s novel, (via Woolfworks), I have come to appreciate that one of Mrs Dalloway’s most captivating qualities is how we can both relate to, and immerse our thoughts within its many narratives. After all, who has not at one time or another become a Mrs Dalloway, and found themselves lost elsewhere in memory?