17Jan
Roberta Levitow January 17, 2008 No Comments

Requiem

By Hanoch Levin

 The Old Man, a coffin-maker in the small town of Poopkah, has been married to his wife, the Old Woman for fifty-two years, but it is not until she falls deathly ill that he begins to contemplate what their life together could have been. They travel to the nearby town of Kloopkah to seek help from the Medic, hitching a ride with the Wagoner, but the Medic, lazy and overwhelmed with requests, can only offer powders and compresses to fight off the flu, typhoid and malaria. The Old Man and Old Woman return home with nothing and the Old Woman soon dies and is taken away by three cherubs. For the rest of the play, this scenario of death continues. The Old Man soon meets a Mother of seventeen with a sick baby. They travel back to Kloopkah, again thanks to the Wagoner, whose wagon is alternatively filled with whores or drunks. The Medic can’t help the baby, it dies and is taken away by the cherubs. The Old Man again contemplates death, life and the higher purposes of the universe. Then he is taken ill himself, he visits the Medic and the Medic denies him adequate treatment. As the play ends, the Old Man dies and is taken away by the cherubs.

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