*insert something about the weather here*
Blah blah ice cream barbecues blah blah “makes a nice change” “it won’t last” blah blah fucking BLAH.
You know what I did on the first nice sunny day which I was free to spend as I liked? I went to see Terminus at the Young Vic, a heavy-going wordy thing featuring popped eyeballs, a demon made of worms, and a woman performing a DIY abortion with a sharpened broom. It’s not that I don’t like sunshine and actively wanted to be a miserable bastard for the afternoon, more that I felt sorely under-served by the London theatre performance schedules this week. I was heading to the 1 on 1 fest at Battersea Arts Centre in the evening, but that didn’t start until 7, and everything else that caught my eye was evening-only too. Whatever happened to the Wednesday matinee? With such a dearth of choice I just went for the show that had £10 tickets for students. And at least the dude in the picture looked a bit like Lovejoy. I used to love Lovejoy when I was a kid. Not that stupid ginger posh woman though. I used to think she was Annie Lennox. Fucking harpy.
So anyway, I sweated my way to the theatre on Wednesday lunchtime and was faced with one violent monologue after another. It was brilliantly performed, and beautifully written, and the guy did indeed look like Lovejoy, but there’s a time and a place for popping eyeballs, and just I don’t think Wednesday afternoon was it.
The 1 on 1 fest was much more appropriate to my mood. I chose the Immersive menu, although it was a genuinely difficult decision. Next year I’m going to spend a few evenings there are do a whole fuckload of stuff, because only three short pieces simply left me UNSATED. (Is ‘unsated’ a word? Fuck it. This is BLOGGING.) The first one was ‘And The Birds Fell From The Sky’ by Il Pixel Rosso and it was a clever concept. You strap on these headphones and video goggles and after a brief sojourn in a wheelchair, are manoeuvred into the back of a car, all in time with the images of (I think) Mexican clowns getting hammered and pissing about. Vodka is squirted at you and, at one point, someone farts in your face. (“Charming”, I hear you say.) It was difficult to follow, which was a shame, because the video goggles did actually work very well.
Next up was a bit of nonsense based on Where The Wild Things Are. It started off with me climbing onto a bed and being rocked from side to side as if it was a boat. I’d watched the Spike Jonze film version while shaking off colonoscopy sedative back in December, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the artists intention to bring those memories back up but, hey, that’s the risk you take with immersion innit? I got to doing a monster impression while wielding a fork though, so everything equals out.
Then I finished off with a Lundahl and Seitl piece. They’re the ones who did that awesomeness in Birmingham Art Gallery for Fierce Festival recently. This piece, Rotating In A Room Of Images, wasn’t quite as involved or slick as that, but was much more unsettling. Lots of it was performed in a complete blackout, and there was one point at which a dude appeared inches from my face and I jumped about 8 feet in the air. He nearly laughed at me but recovered himself LIKE A PRO. The rest of the night was really just spent hoping that my heart rate couldn’t be heard in Clapham Common.