ATTENTION EVERYONE: I HAVE FINISHED MY EXAMS. This means I have been drinking lots and being conspicuous at a variety of theatres and pubs in recent days. Also, because I hate to think of you sitting up at night fretting about what I think about THE ARTS AND THAT, I have also been considering how to best round up all the cultural delights I have taken in while I should’ve been revising.
I have concluded that the best way to do this is to list the cultural items in question and then tell you what I think in insightful little flourishes. THIS IS TRUE INNOVATION RIGHT HERE.
The Quiet Volume at Hackney Central Library: It was a thing done in pairs where we had to read passages from books and listen to voices and instructions through headphones. It started off AWESOME with mashed-up stories (check ma dope terminology innit) and nice observations about how hard it is not to read words that are put in front of you, then suffered a bit when we had to show a partner what to read. I totally zoned out and imagined the voice was actually talking dirty to me and then had to snap back to reality to show some pictures of wartorn Beirut to my mate Hannah. That’s never happened to me during sex before.
Little Eagles at the Hampstead Theatre: A proper long play with proper story and actors and two halves and stuff. At no point did someone lead me by the hand down a dark corridor. It was a very strange theatre experience. Was about the Russian cosmonauts and space programme and I probably would’ve hated it if I didn’t find that whole era fascinating. Also, I still have a problem with colour-blind casting (see also Boyle’s Frankenstein) and because I am LIBERAL AND OPEN-MINDED, I wish I didn’t.
Chekhov In Hell at the Soho Theatre: I reckon a large proportion of this show’s audiences attend because the playwright, Dan Rebellato, is A BIG DEAL on Twitter. I like to think I’m not one of those people but I probably am. But who gives a shit why people decide to go as long as they keep going to AMAZING AWESOME BRILLIANT shows like this. Most of it was more sketch comedy than narrative theatre, with a re-awakened Anton Chekhov coming to terms with 21st century life; strip clubs and MTV Cribs and the like. It’s partly because I spent an hour actually hurting from laughter that when Chekhov finally asked a Ukrainian prostitute to explain “what has happened to the world” and heard news of famine and war and genocide and terrorism, I completely crumbled too. BRILLIANT BRILLIANT BRILLIANT. So simple, so awesome.
The Picasso Ceramics exhibition at New Walk Gallery: I took my folks to this because, frankly, what the fuck else am I supposed to do with them in Leicester? And my Mum once did a pottery course where her final project was about Picasso. If their house was on fire, the pieces she made on that course would be some of the first things I’d save. If Leicester was burning I’d probably just let the Picasso stuff perish, apart from maybe the big plate with the fish on it. That was okay I guess. In short, my Mum > Picasso.
Dirt at The Wellcome Collection: Nowhere NEAR enough massive blown-up cross-sections of bed bugs for my liking. Nice film about Hindu goddesses made out of shit though.
Schrodinger at Curve: This is the Reckless Sleepers show, given another outing because it’s seminal apparently. Like all their shows (apart from The Last Supper which is officially ace because I got to eat hot dogs and beans in it), this was a series of quite beautiful moments all wrapped up in a bunch of nonsense. People throwing tables through hatches and the like. There was a cool bit with a guy responding to yelled numerical instructions though, and another bit where a guy shouted “MOUNTAIN MOUNTAIN MOUNTAIN” until he was restrained with wine. Basically I liked the shouty bits.
A Game Of You at Warwick Arts Centre: AMAZING I LOVED THIS IT WAS AMAZING. It’s also still on so I’m a bit scared to say anything in case I spoil it for you. I feel like I’ve taken out a superinjuction on myself. That’s what Jeremy Clarkson should do really, innit? “Sorry folks, Top Gear has had to be cancelled because Jeremy Clarkson is legally forbidden from being a cock on TV and he doesn’t know how else to behave.” Anyway, A Game Of You is one of those wonderful experiences with one perfect realisation after another, and it makes you really examine what it is to be you, and leaves you with a souvenir that makes it linger that much longer. It’s by Ontroerend Goed and I have added them to my MUST SEE EVERYTHING BY THIS COMPANY EVER list.
Phew. Bet you don’t read this bit because you gave up at, like, Little Eagles. The concentration span of the internet generation is totally fucked.