Well, it’s been a tremendously enjoyble Festival this year – after a couple of fairly flat years. The new festival director Eric Van Loeuwenhooven (simulated name to remove the need to look it up) opted for an ecelectic mix of comparatively very affordable and excellent events.
In the last couple of years we saw expensive tickets and the biggest booking crash in living memory, with top line big names who failed to fire, Not mentioning the John Malkovich Casanova disaster that saw booing and audience walking out almost from the start. We made it to half way and like much of the audience, headed for the bar for the rest of the evening. Creepy and crappy, it was. And a rip-off – the Sydney Morning Herald reported people demanding the Opera House give them their money back !
But the high drama this year took place in the Sydney Town Hall’s hitherto undiscovered opera on the catwalk, with baroque music and instruments blended with punk – Vivienne Westwood couture and the surprise of audience members singing – as part of the production. I think they were actually real choristers, so I think it was wise not to join in. Not a hard decision with the libretto being a mix of German, English and possibly French – there was a lot going on, believe me ! It was a fashionista’s delight !
With the exception of a couple of sellout major shows – think David Byrne and St Vincent and Semele Walk – both unforgettable performances, we were treated to such delights as the unscripted real-time modern soon-to-be-a-classic Blind Date Project where the director hired a full time actress and randomly selected actors to create a blind date in a karaoke cabaret. The action took part amongst we patrons of said cabaret.
The director shaped the production through the dating couple taking mobile phone calls and improvising – so that every performance was different. We took the Emmlets – in their early 20s. We thought the show was hilarious – and a little sad. They said it was too close to reality for comfort. Which shows how long we’ve been out of the dating game.
We enjoyed the breakneck wild action at the Dulwich Hill Skate Park with the massively athletic and excellent timing of the stars of Concrete and Bone where skaters vied with BMX riders and parkour exponents for domination of the field of play against a pounding beat and the occasional rain squall.
FM and Emmjay enjoyed front row seats (which takes involvement to a new level – the aerialist performed above and beyond us !) at the marvellous Circolumbia show “Urban“. If you can make it to one of their remaining shows at Riverside Parramatta – GO ! You will be surprised and delighted.
And tomorrow night, we’re off to see, hear and dance to Osaka Monaurail at the Sydney Town Hall. Japanese musicians never cease to amaze !