Day 4, part III of III – Cactus

The second performance I almost blew. In this case, I misread the booklet and thought I could catch THE CRYING CHERRY, which is a promising looking goofy Dutch performance. But they’re in MY timeslot, so I don’t get to see them until my performance time changes at the end of the week. So I’m at A Studio Rubín, I’ve got 5 minutes and a beer before 10:30, when the show begins, and I realize my mistake. So I slam half the beer and head up the street where I’m in plenty of time to catch CACTUS. They didn’t open the doors exactly on time. I get to talk to Steve for a bit, and his mom again, finally they open up.

Divadlo Inspirace (Inspiration Theater) is behind St. Nicholas Chapel, just up the hill from Rubín (or Jo’s Bar and Garáž, if that’s your preferred landmark), and like practically all the theaters here, it’s underground. I’ll post more on this when I’m back home and can upload some photos of Divadlo na Pradle as an example. The upside of this is that even when it’s hot, like yesterday, high 70s for the Americans, nearly 30 for the rest of the world, going into the earth can be fairly pleasant. The downside of this is that when you stick a whole bunch of already warm people in a cool yet enclosed space, it gets humid quickly. And hot again.

And that’s us, nearly 40 of us, thankfully not crammed into the nice studio space at Inspirace, here to see Jonno Katz from Australia perform CACTUS. Structurally it’s very similar to mine – a number of stories that move in and out of each other. He’s got more stories, though, and no props (or coffee), it’s all physical performance. Similar to Dr. Brown, there’s a lot of clowning here. This guy is fantastic. The performance is a little bit about love and a little bit about death, but the theme and the text pales in comparison to his performance. By the end of the performance, as he’s about to die, his last request to for the audience to touch him (there’s been a lot of flirting with the audience the whole time – but he wants us to know that he’ll be seeing other audiences. And he thinks we should see other performances. That doesn’t make this awkward, does it?). To that end, he wants to stage dive. He actually manages to get a good number of people to push his body slowly around the space, yelling things like “help out the old people” as he goes. And even though we did all the work, he gets the applause by the time he’s back on stage, because he got us to do it after all.

Which sort of sums up the whole show in terms of interaction. Great great great.

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