The Rings of Saturn

  • Schauspiel Köln, Cologne, Germany, 2012
  • Festival d'Avignon, Avginon, France, 2012

W.G. Sebald’s book, The Rings of Saturn, is a pilgrimage to the suffolk cost line and a meditation on the erosion of not only the cost but the world around us.

Set in an abandoned military research bunker like those Sebald experiences at Orfordness, four actors read extracts of the book while using foley techniques to bring the sounds of suffolk to life, interspersed with Simon Allen’s electronic music and Paul Clarks piano compositions, again all played live.

While this happens we occasionally see into a Norwich hospital room though a large sliding door in which Sebald lies observed by 3 cameras linking the thoughts in his head as the man with the thoughts in the book.

Grant Gee made “Patience (After Sebald)”, a brilliant documentary on Sebald and his journey though the book, all shot on 16mm film. He kindly gave us the rushes from the entire film which Finn Ross then reconstructed into a tryptic that moves in and out of the live camera world.