1: Songs (a teenage fangirl attack)
Okay, so right about now seems like the time for total and utter honesty: I am terrified about writing this blog post. I am neither eloquent nor knowledgeable enough to do this performance justice. Why did they choose a sixteen year old to write about this? I feel like I need a PhD in performing arts and glass of vintage wine just to utter a word of opinion. Argh.
To put it simply, I am mind-blown. I am (admittedly) slightly confused. I am pretty much a fangirl right now, a mildly unnerving prospect considering how the last time I felt like this was my six year old self sitting through a Scooby Doo marathon. Despite the impression I’m giving of myself here, generally I’m not the sort of person to be impressed to the point of gushing. If you’re sceptical about that I don’t blame you, but there was something so raw and open about this performance that I find it difficult not to echo it in my emotions towards the piece. Whereas I may not always have entirely understood why I experienced certain feelings throughout the production, the fact that it inspired something within me is as undoubtable as it is wonderful.
1: Songs is a piece of performance I have never before come across. Written by Nicole Beutler, it consisted of a selection of monologues from the tragic heroines of literature and theatre, yet reworked and revamped into the most awesomest (spellcheck says this isn’t a word but I don’t care) pop concert ever. Something within its beginning reminded me distinctly of the cool tones of Lana Del Rey, possibly because the actress had the same unidentifiable, husky tone that I love yet can never find the right word to describe. Believe me; I just sat here for 10 minutes trying. The dictionary was looted and the thesaurus cracked open.
But even then, this was different. Her voice was more endearing. Compelling. Even her lack of voice was mystifying; I spent the majority of the pauses between speech trying to guess the words that were next forming on her mouth. Initially I was slightly taken aback by the other-worldly nature of this strange woman and then surrealism of the opening, but what the hell. Theatre is theatre and sometimes theatre is weird. I appreciate weirdness.
Ethereal was not the only thing this piece did well. This woman radiated power. She was like a feminist superwoman. Once again, I’m not 100% clear on why I got such strong feminist vibes; the truth of the matter is that the performance had no overtly feminist messages (from what I could gather anyway. You’d really be better off discussing this with my sister). No, it didn’t involve placards and rightfully heated protests about the gender pay gap, but what it did do was epitomise the empowered, self-assured woman. The utter conviction in both voice and movement – and sometimes the contrast between the two (never before did I expect to see the robot done to proclamations of Jane Eyre, and DAMN I did not expect it to be that mesmerising to watch) – served to create such an unrestrained, unashamed honesty in the performance that I have never witnessed before. Every person should possess that unapologetic confirmation of character. Even if that means barking like a dog on stage.
And don’t even get me started on the use of movement in Ophelia’s monologue. The sexuality in that quite literally made me want to be her.
Looking back on this post makes me realise how much I haven’t covered, like the exhilarating choice of music accompanying the monologues or several equally as impressive dance sequences, but somehow I think I don’t have enough room to cover it all. I never would have. Taking into account that I wrote this on paper before typing it up, I pretty much just felled a rainforest. So, in order to conserve the planet, I should probably stop writing now. But WOW.
As I said before, I cannot do this performance justice. So please please PLEASE, if you ever get the chance, go and see what I just desperately attempted to describe and then come and fangirl with me.
Juncture Young Blogger