So now I'm sitting in that precarious position that most of us encounter at some point in our lives: that moment just after an awesome arts festival finishes and just before that promised shipping of Guitar Hero: Metallica arrives. It is with a heavy heart that I am thus forced to sit down and do something useful for a change.
The festival was grand. No, really, it was. For a start, I managed to snag myself an epic creamy-white jacket thing at the Village Green market.
I've also been watching a bunch of performances, and am very happy to say that each one has been very impressive in its own right. This is not to say that I'll be starry-eyed and suggest that everything at the fest was awesome forever: it's just that if there were crap elements, they were doing their gosh-darn best to hide themselves from me.
So, what can I take away from this? My top three performances of the fest:
- "Laugh" with David Newton. This was a straightforward stand-up comedy routine. Nothing terribly artsy or thought-provoking, you may say. Well, screw you. The guy's damn funny anyway.
- Alchemy of the Heart. I believe I mentioned it over here already. It was the first performance I watched, but it still sticks with me anyway. Or maybe because.
- Monkey Nuts. Matthew Ribnick is a legendary actor, and Geraldine Naidoo is presumably a legendary producer. Like their other hits, Chilli Boy and Hoot, Monkey Nuts has Ribnick standing on stage with a collection of hats, acting out a full-blown story cast allllllllll by his lonesome. And boy, can that guy act! The sheer number of body builds, cultures, personality types and accents that he can emulate and switch between on the fly is a great demonstration of what "good acting" actually means. That, and I've always loved the bittersweet comedies that this duo choose to perform: there's nothing quite like feeling "mirthful empathy" when you're watching a performance.
As a bonus shout-out, I have to point to the one act that really made the festival what it was. And that was the festival audience. Unfortunately, I don't mean this in a warm and fuzzy way. Even in this hub of culture, enlightment and high-quality performing arts, the audiences at some of the performances I've been to still behaved like a bunch of cave-dwelling troglodytes. Cthulhu help me, if I find one more inconsiderate little shit who wanders into a performance twenty minutes late, yapping away with their friends and blocking my view of a show that I paid upward of sixty rand to watch (and then adding insult to injury by laughing at all the wrong parts for the rest of the act), I'm going to take a mental note of where they sit, force-feed myself a ton of concrete and do a bellyflop dive right on their heads.
Theatre etiquette, folks. Use it.
Final note: the picture used in this blog was, in fact, that of a professional Dolce & Gabbana model. Confused readers should note that in reality my jacket is a lot cooler.