August 27, 2011

Sick in Scert-lernd.

Looks like I didn't last long in the incubation room. I've got a four star cold right now, and it's been draining me of energy and optimism for three days and counting. Unfortunately, this has aligned with a visit from my parents, and they're likely now wondering what Scotland has done to me, to make me cranky and eleven years old again. I'm so beat I took a two hour nap through the nicest part of today and even refused my parent's invitation to eat dinner out tonight. To be fair, I've had more than my share of restaurant food since they've arrived -- they have generously been celebrating by buying really awesome meals -- so it's probably high time I took a break if only to conserve calories. Honestly, though, I'm just ready to not feel like shit anymore.

The last slew of shows included some of the best and some of the worst. Here's the verdict on the newest batch:

The One Hour Plays was an improv-style group of very talented performers, directors, and technicians. These guys wrote, directed, acted, and costumed a completely original 10 minute play (with audience input on all fronts) in one hour's preparation time. It was really fun to behold our "action movie soap opera" of Jamon, mi amor! about Juan the drugsbaron and his love for Evita, the anti-sandwich revolutionary. 4 stars, only lacking in the last cause it didn't really give me any mind-altering perceptions of art/theatre.

Wonderous Fliting. About a man who may or may not encounter a miracle in the form of a "flitting" house crashing through his apartment. This show started off with a bang (quite literally), but ended in a messy heap of tragic mistakes on the writers part. TERRIBLE. 2 stars for potential.

The Rape of Lucrece was a one-man show. This would have been stellar on the basis that the man simply learned all those lines, but he also acted it quite well. Still, an hour and 15 minutes of Shakespearean dialogue with decent physicality but mediocre characterization did prove a little wearing. I completely applaud him, but probably wouldn't need to see anything like it again. 3.5 stars.

Ovid's Metamorphoses was STELLAR. I wish I had more energy, cause I would break down every little bit of this show -- all of the fantastic costume design, the puppetry, the fabulous acting, the Le Coq influence, the amazing 100-things-you-can-do-with-six-unadorned-stage-flats, and the fabulous original music -- but I'm a bit pressed for time (and energy, as mentioned.) All I can say is if you're reading this and you're in Scotland GO SEE IT. It's like Mission Drift's pretty awesome younger sister. 5 stars.

Entitled was a trip, man. Nothing strange happened, really, but the best way I can explain what did happen is quoting the director's aim to "turn theatre inside out." Basically what we watched was the tech process of a show, both before and after the production. The entire piece is people screwing in platforms, putting up flats, testing lights, choreographing, and delivering on-the-spot monologues about the banal behind-the-scenes day-to-day of the theatrical world (the bit you don't see come to stage). When it comes to the point where you feel like a show could happen -- when all the stage and lights and sound is set -- the whole thing pauses for all of five seconds, just a flash in the midst of a 1h 45min production, and then we work backwards until the stage is bare again. It was kind of like going to see one of those modern exhibitions where the artist rolls around in paint across butcher paper while holding a dead rabbit or something: you're not really quite sure what's going on or why, at times it feels completely pretentious, but in the end it somehow leaves you with a sense of purified reality. 4 stars.

My last show is tomorrow, and the day after that it's off to London before touring le continent (Belgium and France!) with my parents. I couldn't be more excited, but it's going to be really hard to say goodbye to my friends until, well, next year. This has been such a truly marvelous experience, and I can't wait for our final hoorah tonight, in birthday celebration.

Sick or not sick.




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