Day 6, the Slope
Okay, so after yesterday, today should be a bit more ease on down the road, right?
Thankfully, that’s pretty much what happens.
It’s raining all day, somewhere between spitting and a steady downpour. The garden party hosting by the British Ambassador (the official sponsor of the Prague Fringe Festival) hosted an indoor garden party that was quite lovely. Andy and I neglected to eat in advance, assuming snacks. But being American, we assumed (without ever saying it out loud) that snacks meant “buffet” and in fact, in Europe (or at least here), snacks means “canapés.” Tasty, frequently at hand, and yet somehow lacking in the gorge-ability that is American Ethnic Cuisine: all-you-can-eat. We grabbed lunch afterward.
We hit the 3:30 showing of Sealskin, Multistory’s contribution this year. In 2009, they did the amazing Backward Glance. This is my response from that show – which is funny to re-read now, because I think now I’m a lot higher on it than I was then. Whatever. Sealskin is the second selkie story at the 2010 PFF. Bill and Gill’s version keeps the story as a story though – a story that a mother tells her children, the Younger Brother and the Older Sister, over a period of about 10 years. She tells them presumably as much in anticipation of her departure from their lives as in giving herself the courage to leave at all. At times it was difficult to connect with them as family members – when we see them re-telling the story their mother tells, it’s almost an outside eye. When we see them in the present discussing their family, we see them with their quirks and foibles, but we haven’t made the connection just yet to make that on-again-off-again squabbling that family members do pay off. The elements of naturalism beat out storytelling in this regard. But like last year, this was a good story and it was incredibly well-executed. I had a chance to talk to each of them briefly tonight, but not enough to either.
Our show was solid. Once again, Andy was the dog. That’s four times in a row, now. No, five. Weird. We’re rather hoping to be able to switch it up again soon. We’re tightening up our delivery, taking the air out of some lines. Nothing really bizarre happened tonight. A house of 23. Good good good. No one stole Andy’s pants. Good good good.
We ended with Poste Restante, which is performed by the company They Gotta Be Secret Agents, who are something like friends of friends of friends. They don’t bill themselves as cirque nouveau, but if that’s not what they’re doing, they’re kissing cousins. Bonnie and Tim are originally modern dancers, and they’ve incorporated aspects of simple acting/clowning, puppetry, and film/projection into a performance of boy and girl meet, fall in love, fall out of love, fight, and reconcile. Their strengths are solidly as movers – their physicality is virtuosic. It’s beautiful and amazing and inspiring to watch. Their puppetry is a bit hit and miss. They’re not lacking for ideas (Bonnie’s manipulation of a living desk lamp is a great start), but sometimes the execution of the puppets themselves compromised the beauty of what they were trying to achieve. I have to stress though, that this is mostly nitpicking. They’ve created a feel-good show that makes everyone feel good. The house was full up and they got a well-deserved thunderous round of applause. SO FUN to see shows that connect with an audience like this.
The rest of the evening – well, I didn’t expect to be writing at this hour. I was supposed to head over to visit Don and František tonight, but Don didn’t get out of work until at least 11pm. OUCH. I’d already walked to and from the National Theatre and was relatively soaked, so when I got back a little before 10:30, Andy and I just went downstairs for a drink (Velvet and peanuts, if that means anything to you), and when we were done, we went over to Fringe Central (aka Rubín) for the after party. Why is this relevant? Ha ha! Because, we discovered talking to some of the Hong Kong folks from Shakespeare’s Will (a piece we sadly can’t see due to time slot issues), that the rude woman from yesterday? The one who says I’m disgusting? Um, yeah, turns out she’s a reviewer.
She’s at expats.cz.
Feel free to check her out, but I’m not reading it until we’re done here, so let’s keep it to ourselves, shall we?
This is how we made the rain better.