It was to be the starriest artwork/theatrical event of the decade: an "opera" based on the life of the performance artist Marina Abramovic conceived and staged by the director Robert Wilson and featuring appearances by Abramovic herself, the American actor Willem Dafoe, and the avant garde singer Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons). As we took our seats in the packed Lowry Theatre for the opening night performance of The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, the auditorium crackled with expectation. The curtain already up, three mime actors were laid out on biers identically dressed as the corpse of Abramovic, while a pack of dobermans prowled the bone-strewn stage to the sound of a traditional Serbian funeral dirge. The obsequies under way, this would be an evening I'd never forget.
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