After visiting Galileo last year, it only seem right in our political climate today, we explore the The Good Soul of Setzuan. The play will be performed as a fable and begin to question how can you remain a good person in a corrupt world?
Translated by noted Scottish playwright David Harrower, Irondale's production is set in the playwrights' room, mirroring Brecht's practice when he was kept in exile in the United States due to the Nazi ruling in World War 2.
In the comedic pessimism of The Good Soul of Setzuan, this 1945 fable about the brutalizing nature of poverty, still remains ominously apt, exploring the lengths to which one must go to keep clean in a dirty world. The parable follows Shen Tei, the kind-hearted, penniless prostitute, found by a trio of Gods to be the only good person in town. With her goodness impossibly tested by a world that rewards evil, she is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman male cousin, Shui Ta, to master the ruthlessness necessary to be a "good person." For Brecht, and mirrored in the climate of today, doing good and surviving are not compatible and enlists the audience to help determine how the story should end.