A silent genius, silenced

September 24th, 2007 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

I was sorry to see news, yesterday, of the passing of Marcel Marceau. I was privileged to see him perform while I lived in Dublin, probably around 2000 or 2001. He was in his 70s at that point, and though I was almost sitting with the gods in the upper balcony of the Gaiety theatre, he was mesmerising.

There was the slightest of tremors visible, and he wasn’t as spry as he might have been in years past. At the same time, his ability to build an environment purely through body movement was amazing – there he was walking through a park, watching some birds, now watching some dogs at play. It was an honour to see him, and the audience knew it was probably their last opportunity, as they gave him three (well-deserved) standing ovations at the end.

May he rest in peace.

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