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All Is Safely Gathered In

January 9th, 2015

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It is here. The set has arrived at The Public Theatre. It is stored Stage Right in The Martinson (one of The Public’s five spaces) waiting for rehearsals on Sunday.

Currently set up in The Martinson is the big, double height set for Mariano Pensotti’s Cineastas, which I was enjoying very much before I fell asleep. This sounds like an indictment of the show but was my fault. In mitigation, it was warm, dark, 1am in UK time, the third show of the day, fairly demanding to follow and required reading Spanish surtitles. Jetlag got me I’m afraid. I was enjoying it. I think it was good. I may try and see it again tonight.

Earlier I had enjoyed O Jardim by Companhia Hiato which is a beautiful and elegantly structured piece. Piles of cardboard boxes divide the stage into three playing spaces which face the audience who are sat on three sides. Three half hour long scenes are performed in rotation around the three spaces, so depending which side of the stage you are on you see the scenes in a different sequence. The scenes show three generations of the same family and contain lots of pleasing interconnections.

Even earlier I did not enjoy A (Radically Condensed and Expanded) Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. This comprised four (though I suspect there are usually five) performers donning headphones on a stage covered in tennis balls to relay long extracts from recordings of David Foster Wallace either reading his own writings or being interviewed.

Today very much enjoyed an early version of The Art of Luv (part 1) by Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble. This “meditation on masculinity, insecurity, and longing” is deadpan hilarious and tragic. Again the performers relay the prerecorded words of others, but here these are a collage of ‘self-help videos, youtube diary/advice monologues and the pre-spree murder complaints of Elliot Rodger. In white togas with gold painted faces and laurels the performers kneel in a candle bounded temple and do their thing in a steady seductive way.

What next? Who knows!

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