This week / Standing on hands

Some of us have had a busy week. I have discovered I have magic geomorphological powers and weevils in my pantry. I have been writing to the point of becoming reverse-dyslexic, unable to string simple sentences together, particularly if on paper, but that seems to be a bit of a theme these days. Over on Spark, now moved to a swish new domain, looking all wonderful and pretty, we have been publishing some interesting new writing. From London, Giulia Merlo has started a monthly in-depth update on the latest going-ons, while we are currently working hard to publish the up-and-coming theatre critics reviewing the Ten Days on the Island festival as a part of Critical Acclaim, a workshop in phlegm run by, among others, our very own Alison Croggon, and Sydney’s very own (but still much loved over at GS) James Waites. All up on Spark, yeah?

Meanwhile, some bits and crumbs: Hayloft Project (remember Spring Awakening? Remember Platonov?) are opening their 2009 season with a double bill: the Sydney version of Spring Awakening (the one that confused the shit out of Melbourne when reported in the Sydney papers) plus 3xSisters, announced as Chekhov playfully deconstructed by three directors (Hayloft’s Simon Stone, Benedict Hardie and Black Lung’s Mark Winter). It opens on April 24, at the Meat Market, and runs until May 10. All details here.

Same Simon Stone is returning to Red Stitch to direct the Australian premiere of Philip Ridley’s Leaves of Glass. Ridley was the writer of the critically acclaimed Mercury Fur, the sleeper hit of spring 2006 at Theatreworks, while Stone’s production of Mark Ravenhill’s pool (no wate) for Red Stitch got nominated for a bunch of Green Rooms last year and I missed it because I left for Europe two days earlier. Well. Red Stitch, every self-respected theatre realist’s substitute for MTC, and our finest bourgeois theatre, has unearthed yet another play that looks like smart, interesting, contemporary. All details here.

Speaking of which, MTC has apparently slashed its youth ticket prices permanently to $30. No more 9am queueing if you really want to revisit a classic, and no more sneaking from your radically lateral seats into the breezy A Reserve between the acts. Why is this important? Well, because August: Osage County, on which Giulia writes in her Postcard from London, is opening soon, with Robyn Nevin and Robert Menzies no less. And before that, our intrepid Ming-Zhu is just about to open Realism. Looks like a bit of orientalist silliness to me, but what would I know? I’m biased in all matters Slavic.

In keeping with the middlebrow theme, La Mama is launching a duet of Becketts to commemorate some anniversary or other. Opening on 14 and 15 April, Andre Bastian is directing a handful of shorts, and Laurence Strangio a …waiting for GODOT. We’ll see how the Trust sits with that irreverent title, hon… Bastian was the man behind last year’s Red Stitch production of The Work of Wonder, one of the most extravagant postdramatic things I’ve seen in Melbourne. Who knows what the Becketts are going to be like?! And how exciting!

I must have forgotten another hundred things, but my brain is fried. I pledge not to ever care about a review again. Indeed, I may just avoid difficult theatre altogether. BUT!, one thing that I haven’t forgotten because it’s unforgettable: La Mama has joined the Comedy Festival with the best piece of, what-did-we-say?, Alternative and Hybrid Performance, in the world. So You Think You Can Cow? closes next Saturday, and you don’t want to miss it. It’s everything that’s brilliant about theatre, comedy, disco, and life in general. And then more. Just go.

Ha!, I reckon I could cure reverse-dyslexia just by writing more theatre news, but I need to sleep, shower, and find a way to connect Cow to Woven Hand, in reverse order. Well, Cow has music. Woven Hand make music. There we go. And this video, from Ultima Vez+Wim Vandekeybus’s beautiful dance film Blush, is not only the most erotic moment in YouTube history, but needs to be here so that, the next time I start ranting about Splintergroup, I can direct all the confused passers-by here:

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