The Architect: Blowing up Architectures of Power
Verticality, the concept that underlies the chapter’s analysis of The Architect (Traverse, 1996) is explored in this chapter from three angles. Firstly, verticality is related to the “rigidity” of city spaces, which “elegantly” execute separation, exclusion and invisibility. Secondly, verticality is addressed in relation to a kind of subject position that denotes individuality, apparent self-sufficiency and enclosure. Thirdly, verticality is also analysed in connection with the play’s formal features and its treatment of space. The main argument is that the play undoes all these senses of verticality in order to arguably blow up—tear holes in—constricted architectures of power, a process that culminates at the end of the play with the incident whereby Leo commits suicide inside one of Eden Court’s flats—actually Sheena’s—as it is detonated by the local authorities.