Under Troubled Skies
Under Troubled Skies is a play about Vincent Van Gogh. It explores his despairing self image and self worth, and his relationship with his brother Theo. lt centres around a set of events that lead to Vincent’s final degeneration.
It opens in the present day at an auction of one of Van Gogh’s paintings.
The main action takes place in a room in Dr. Gachet’s house, where Vincent comes to paint the Doctor’s portrait. Vincent’s confused and manic state holds a great fascination for the doctor, who derives a vicarious sense of involvement in the artistic process through his contact with a number of artists.
Left alone to work on the portrait, Vincent is disturbed by Guillaume, who spends his life in a cupboard under the stairs. He is another of Dr. Gachet’s lost souls, ugly and deformed, he has borne cruelty and abuse all his life. He is a damaged individual, and life restricted to a dark place has become as much as he asks for in life.
But he has a strange, child-
When he realises that Guillaume is not his brother, he looses his temper and, in a frenzy, attacks Guillaume and, at once in despair, thinks he has killed him. Vincent flees the room and Guillaume revives. A shot is heard off stage as the auctioneer completes the sale of the portrait of Dr. Gachet.