Friday, January 12, 2007

Perkins Redux

So this time tomorrow (and very nearly this time the day after as well) I'll be on my way to Sydney. Still dreading the deleterious conflict between long legs and long haul, but on the bright side, 21 hours should just about be enough time to re-learn the script for Kiss of Life... I'll try and post something while I'm there, but if it doesn't happen -- and frankly why would it?, it's going to be summer, I shall be out and about, enjoying the sunshine, projectile-weeping with terror at imagined stingrays in dark alleys -- then that's where I am if you want me.

Just a quick note in passing: the post-Christmas doldrums were topically illuminated by a superb short piece for the Guardian by (...yes, this is kind of developing into a crush now...) Slavoj Zizek on the perils of cyberdemocracy. It chimed brilliantly with my holiday re-reading of Paul Goodman's Growing Up Absurd, and, yet again, Zizek, like Goodman, quite inadvertently helps to update the agenda for theatre.

Which brings me to the main business of this (temporarily) valedictory post. (Not quite sure what the Latin is for au revoir. It's not a very classical sentiment, is it?)

Though I've persevered with the top 50 albums, I had aborted my plans to announce the 2006 Perkins Awards, it being already much too far into January now for that sort of nonsense. But looking for something completely else just now, I turned up my back-of-envelope list of my top 10 theatre works from last year, and I think I may as well post it -- without comment (from me -- you're more than welcome to weigh in, if you're of a mind to), but hopefully with some inferable ulterior tremors nonetheless...

So here it is.


The Perkins Awards for Theatre, 2006

1. The TEAM. Particularly in the Heartland. (Traverse)
2. Stan's Cafe. Of All The People In All The World. (Triskel Gallery, Cork Midsummer Festival)
3. Ex Machina / Robert Lepage. The Andersen Project. (Barbican: BITE06)
4. Inspector Sands & Stamping Ground Theatre. Hysteria. (Aurora Nova, Edinburgh)
5. Apocryphal Theatre. The Jesus Guy. (Camden People's Theatre)
6. Tim Jeeves. Performance at 'Perspectives: Shifting Ground'. (Chisenhale Dance Space)
7. Royal De Luxe. The Sultan's Elephant. (Artichoke / LIFT)
8. The Books / Kim Hiorthoy. (Queen Elizabeth Hall)
9. Sunday in the Park with George. (Wyndham's Theatre)
10. Les Ballets C De La B. vsprs. (Sadler's Wells)

There are half a dozen productions whose omission from this short list gives me a pang. But, well, good. It's nice to have a pang.

See you on the other side of the world.

5 comments:

Andrew Field said...

Particularly in the Heartland was totally lovely wasn't it?

They're coming back again for a tour - hopefully I'll be able to catch it again - maybe I'll even manage to hit the tiny girl in the raincoat with an egg this time.

Other things that pleased me muchly this year included:

Faust - Punchdrunk
Roam - Gridiron
Sclavi - farm in the cave
Ketzal - Derevo (though (and in fact possibly because) it was in many ways very, very silly)
39 steps

Happy returns for the new year.

sommertanz said...

Hi Chris, I was yesterday at your kiss of life show in Sydney.I just whanted to say thank you for it. It was for me the most deeply touching theater i have ever seen. I am normaly not interested in theater exactly becose, that deep lets say spiriual meaning you comunicated is missing. What i also realy loved about it was your loving way of looking at humans live. I did feel that this is the work of a wise being. well there would be much more to say about it. great that there are people like you out there doing wonderfull things. Melanie

Lizzie Muller said...

well - sitting in my sydney study, pootling about the archive of the now i saw a link to your blog and for no good reason followed it, only to read you are in sydney RIGHT NOW, and I have just missed the last night of your show. If you're still in town, you should come for dinner - we will lay on a crowd of the lovliest sydneysiders. Maybe you remember meeting me at dark, late, absurd Cambridge parties at Keston and Andreas. Maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
Say your saturday show in sydney. FANTASTIC!!!!!! loved every minute of it both the text and the set. (The fridge was brillient) Are you going to publish the text for kiss of life anywhere? It would be great to be able to read it a second (and a third) time
-Keely

Chris said...

Hello all, thanks for stopping by.

Andrew, thanks for the TEAM update, I'd love to see _Heartland_ again. I must be sure to catch _Faust_ before it closes, I've still never seen Punchdrunk, it's way overdue. On Derevo we'll have to agree to disagree!

Sommertanz, thanks for the kind words about the show -- if you read much more of the blog (including the Sydney diary I've now posted) you'll want to retract the remark about me appearing wise... but I'm glad you found a connection with the piece, it's always heartening to hear that.

Lizzie, sorry we missed each other, but thanks for the invite anyway.

Keely, no, sorry, there are no plans currently to publish the text for Kiss of Life, though on the back of your comments we are now considering launching a range of glow-in-the-dark refrigerators. Thanks for coming to see the show!