It's been a mad month, with Fringe segueing straight into the Melbourne International Arts Festival, and not enough time to blog about it all. As well as the shows I've already detailed on this here blog, I also managed to catch:
- an array of visual arts, from oribotics to Riceboy Sleeps.
- Barrie Kosky's The Tell Tale Heart, which I admired for its attempt to convey the heightened senses of the insane narrator of the original Poe story in a theatrical setting, but whose - dramatic - pauses - began to pall for me after the first half hour. Nonetheless an exquisite aesthetic experience, even though I wasn't always fully engaged.
- Laurie Anderson's Homeland, a festival commission, which washed over me in waves of haunting electronica as I struggled to stay awake in my seat. Loved her evocation of 'the Underwear Gods' - the idea of the photos of giant billboard models striding around the city - but was less enamored of her more polemic pieces, which struck me as unnecessarily strident (though I did appreciate their increased tempo, which helped me stay awake on a particularly low-energy night).
- Kinky, a band from Mexico who played at the Meat Market, bored me - sounding too much like the Red Hot Chili Peppers in their opening songs, so I left; going instead to the Arthouse to see a new punk band before pushing on to a debauched and dissolute warehouse party in Abbotsford, hurrah!
- And closing the festival with Merce Cunningham's Program B, which featured as part of its program the long-awaited Split Sides, featuring vivid, beautiful dancing; a Radiohead score for half the work, and also a live score by Sigur Ros. Oh bliss! Oh joy! Oh rapture! I'm not going to go into a long and detailed review here, as sadly I don't have time, being at work and all (and also because I have to juggle several other committments today, including my Fringe hat, RRR and a few other things into the bargain) but god it was good, from the costumes and set, through to the palpable buzz in the audience the moment Cunningham himself and guests appeared on stage to randomise the presentation of the post-interval performances.
I also managed to catch the opening night show by La Clique at The Famous Spiegeltent on Sunday night, in the company of a Hibernian mate who'd never seen them before, which was an added thrill - there's something about glancing sideways at someone's wide-eyed delight which I find quite inspiring: a vicarious thrill which adds to my own already delighted enjoyment of proceedings.
The new acts to join the show this year aren't especially memorable, though there was some utterly sublime aerial work on show, some clever puppetry, and an amusing spot of juggling; and of course, bathtub boy David O'Mer (pictured above) is still as hot as ever... but La Clique is still a great night out, even if you have seen it before: it's fast, funny, risky and risque; and above all, damn entertaining.
But now it's back to my usual routine, and my normal life, in the absence of Melbourne Fringe and the Melbourne International Arts Centre. Not that my normal life is at all drab and grey, of course: coming up in the next few days I'm going to try and see the latest production from Red Stitch, a Hollywood farce called The Little Dog Laughed; and also Melburnalia, five short plays by Melbourne writers including Lally Katz and Tee O'Neil about life in different aspects of Melbourne, staged at 45 Downstairs by White Whale.
Then there's the Festival of Jewish Cinema opening next week, with a live score for the silent 1920 masterpiece The Golem...
It never stops - for which, of course, I am utterly thankful. Here's to art!!