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From the start of my writing career as a playwright, the focal point of my artistic involvement, in which all aspects and elements of my rakish mind again and again converged, has been evil within innocence, or evil born, the wolf in sheep’s clothing no-one likes to talk about, like murderous tendencies in young children, not for thrills but as a unfeigned examination of its psychological framework.

My first professional play for children was based on a friend’s experience from when she was young and she and her sister were asked by the parents to look after a toddler. They were walking outside with the boy in between them, lifting him up and swaying him back and forth as a fun game, when she suddenly realized she could let him go, just like that. She didn’t, but contemplated the possibility for years and years after and when she talked to her sister about it, it turned out she had the exact same abrupt thought at exactly the same moment, a cruel conjunction, transcending coincidence.

The sisters in my play went beyond by acting on their gruesome impulses, pushing a cradle into a ditch, went home without telling anyone what happened and as a result were forever haunted by the baby they therewith killed. The director eventually staged this crime really dramatically by putting up a life-size aquarium populated by lots of goldfish, in which the actor playing the little boy quite realistically drowned live on stage, thus sparking comprehensible worries the representation might be too harsh for the young audience to endure, but to my surprise they tended to be way more concerned with the fish they took pity on.

During the after-talks organized around the performance, I met this girl, maybe ten years old, who proudly told me how she bit her pet mouse to death, leaving only its tail dangling from her mouth, freaking out her mum into not ever giving her a new one again, which I thought was probably wise but it made the girl very sad without understanding why.

We probably all expect to be spared this kind of inborn violence in our own private spheres. Dealing lenient with the attractiveness of my fascination, I put the horror aside and focus on its beauty instead.


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