In which Performance Monkey sets out his stall
Welcome to Performance Monkey, a blog about theatre and dance. I enjoy watching productions, for work and pleasure, but like to think that a show doesn't end when the curtain falls. It's in talking with friends after a show that creative thinking begins, even if discussion often dissipates under pressure of hunger, gossip or public transport. This isn't a reviews site, but a place where some of those discussions can be floated, and where I hope you will bat them right back at me.
I write from London, in a small country that thinks it's a big one, and an ancient city that keeps transforming itself. A friend from the States told me that he thought of London as a city of smog, urchins, rickets and terrible cockerney pubs. And after his first visit, he was thrilled to find that it was exactly as he imagined. Although blogs emerge from a beguiling nowhere as amorphous as a Victorian London particular, I hope some sense of place will emerge.
So, here's the plan. There will be jottings, musings, opinions and (when quality control lapses) whimsies. These may spring up whenever prompted, but life needs structure as well as serendipity. So there will be some regular strands.
The monkey would like to think that all those hours watching people on stages - how they speak, how they move, how their words and bodies reinforce or betray each other - have not been entirely wasted. So, every Monday we will examine a major news moment with an eye to drama, choreography and performance. To adapt the sceptic's trusty maxim, when we examine a politician's speech and movement, we won't be asking why is this lying bastard lying to me, but how.
Lost and found
Performances are written on the wind, we know that. Even some celebrated productions and choreographies have left only confused and partial traces. So, running on alternate Fridays, we try to pluck some of those from the recent or distant past. Lost nights attempt to reconstruct performances we wish we'd seen. And Found books celebrates some favourite books that bring aspects of performance to life.
So, there we are: Performance monkey has sidled into the building. But none of this will have much point unless you talk back at me: to disagree, affirm, suggest and provoke. So please hit that comment form, people: the monkey could use some companionship as he sits in the dark.
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