Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Swimming cities of Switchback Sea

We went to an artistic production last week.  A group of travelling artists and a floating performance on the Hudson River.  They had four home-made boat/raft/junk-piles on which they stood and told a story while the audience watched from the river bank.  They called themselves the Swimming cities of Switchback Sea.

They told a story of a perhaps near-future world, where people driven by failure or hopelessness or a lack of belonging, gathered and created a ship-borne group that travelled from town to town, never much welcome in any place, but kept strong by their shared spirit of community.

The story was told by a series of monologues, interspersed by music from a quartet who sensibly decided not to risk their instruments on the boats and stayed on dry land with us.

It was interesting, but a little odd for someone as literal as me.  I'm not a big fan of experimental theatre, so I found myself hoping for more interaction between the actors.  A little dialogue to separate the monologues.  The couple of times when people did interject into others' speech were the moments when the story seemed most real to me.

The writing was very good, there was a rythym  to the words that made them flow beautifully and most of the actors spoke them well.  It was a little disappointing to notice half-way through that several of them were reading their parts, though.

The music was good and the female vocalist was great to listen to.  Curiously, the musicians sat facing the aquatic stage with their backs to us in the audience.  I'm not sure why they thought that was a good idea.

Overall, an unusual night out, and cheap entertainment - free entry and several hats passed round at the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment