May 3, 2001 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Tantalus, one of the longest theatrical experiences ever has finally opened in London, and according to one critic, there is no greater endurance test. Always looking for an angle, The Guardian sent four journalists around London on May Day to see what other culture can be experienced in 12 hours, 40 mins. Merope Mills did film - "9:15pm. Both Dennis and Annette are working at the box office and, on seeing me again, Annette throws me the look of a concerned landlady, as in, "Haven't you had enough yet?" I, drunk on moving images, defy her concern and head straight back in. I might as well not have moved - it's straight back to screen five where I'm feeling rather territorial about the sudden influx of people. Nod off in the epic Traffic (18) for 15 minutes but dream about Michael Douglas so decide this little discrepancy still counts."
posted by feelinglistless (4 comments total)
"The Warp," by Ken Campbell, is anywhere from 18 to 24 hours long, depending on how you count it.
posted by aaron at 3:22 PM on May 3, 2001

And for those who prefer the aural arts, there's always Eric Satie's Vexations, which runs at 14 hours plus.
posted by holgate at 3:32 PM on May 3, 2001

Actually, my wife saw Tantalus at the Denver Center a few months ago and loved it. I'd think Freddy Got Fingered would be more of an endurance test - with every second of it's 90ish minutes seeming like an eternity.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 4:49 PM on May 3, 2001

Thanks for posting this, feelinglistless. Tantalus sounds like just my sort of thing, and I hadn't heard of it before. (Now I'm thinking of looking for cheap tickets to London...)

Some of the most amazing experiences I've ever had in a theater were "epic" productions like this. Tony Kushner's "Angels In America," for example, and Robert LePage's "Seven Streams of the River Ota" which was simply unbelievably beautiful. Also the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Wagner's Ring Cycle, which they're remounting in 2005 (save the date!).

Sadly, I did not get to see Peter Brook's original "Mahabharata" back in the 80's. I believe I read that the original production was done in a rock quarry in Australia, and lasted about 9+ hours overnight - so that in the final moments, the first rays of the rising sun hit the rock wall at the back of the stage area.
posted by dnash at 8:24 AM on May 4, 2001

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