Have you ever wondered what did the first woman and the first man think of each other? And how did their relationship develop, as they were the first couple on Earth? Last Sunday I went to a play that imagined the answer to these questions by taking a playful and witty approach to the widely known religious subject.
The Diary of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain (adapted by Eugen Gyemant and interpreted by Dana Rogoz as Eve and Dan Rădulescu as Adam) tells the story of the two biblical characters, who were not only the first man and woman, but also the first husband and wife.
We are presented their lives from their own perspectives, from Eve’s birth to her death. If you imagine they were sad and bored, being just the two of them on Earth, think again! Just like anyone’s life, theirs was a journey of self-discovery sprinkled with funny moments, couple issues, care for their children, and curiosity toward everything around them.
Interestingly, the two characters were not having conversations with each other. Instead, they were having monologues about their explorations, feelings, and of course, about each other. I was impressed (in a good way) by their childish naivety as they were discovering the world:
“The moon got loose last night, and slid down and fell out of the scheme – a very great loss; it breaks my heart to think of it. There isn’t another thing among the ornaments and decorations that is comparable to it for beauty and finish. It should have been fastened better.” (Eve)
What I liked a lot about the play were the simplistic and clever props they used. Instead of having the actual objects they needed, the names of the objects were written in their appropriate shape. For example, you can see below that instead of using a real umbrella, they had an object shaped as an umbrella with umbrelă (Romanian word for umbrella) written on it.
Another nice detail was that on Adam’s and Eve’s costumes there were words sewn. On Adam’s costume it was written Adam’s costume and leaves (in Romanian: Costumul lui Adam and frunze), and on Eve’s dress it was written dress, cleavage, cord, and veil (in Romanian: rochie, decolteu, cordon and voal).
After seeing the play, the reader in me had to check the script written by Mark Twain. That’s how I found out that Mark Twain wrote a series of 6 small books about the story of Adam and Eve, and the play I’ve seen combined two of them: Eve’s Diary (published in 1906) and Adam’s Diary (published in 1904). Now it makes sense why Adam and Eve were not having conversations with each other, but monologues!
When checking the information about the written script, I also found out that Mark Twain wrote Eve’s Diary to his wife, Livy, who had died a year earlier. And another “aha moment” happened – knowing the context, it is understandable why the story has a very sad ending, despite the playful and funny content. Just like Mark Twain said:
“Eve’s Diary is finished — I’ve been waiting for her to speak, but she doesn’t say anything more” (Mark Twain)
… the story ends with Adam speaking at Eve’s grave:
“Wheresoever she was, THERE was Eden” (Adam)
More than imagining the romantic story of Adam and Eve, the play portrays the intrinsic differences between women and men. I recommend it with all my heart if you want to spend some quality time with your loved one or if you are simply in the mood for a comedy. For sure it re-opened my appetite for going to the theatre, and I plan to keep you updated with the plays I see next!
‘ Till next time … happy theatre-ing! 🙂
PS: Jurnalul lui Adam şi-al Evei took place at Godot Cafe-Teatru (Bucharest), a cosy cafe dedicated to independent cultural events. The ticket was 30 lei per person.
Pictures from danarogoz.com