planet of the APE: return to APE feat. R. Kelly
So I saw the Walker show APE at Red Eye theater last night. One of the best shows I've seen in a while. For starters, even though it was a Walker performance, they had a student discount rate of $7. AND there was free beer. Need I say more? Needlessly:
I guess I knew it was going to be a sort of "comedy". The soundbyte said would start with every-day situations and go stranger from there. Well, it started very non-daily, but did get stranger. People carrying furniture around, running in circles, and shouting things. Basicly.
The strangeness eventually revealed itself as an everyday situation. The machine responses of "have some tea. have some tea. don't think of it. have some tea. don't think of it. sit down. have some tea." began to sound so much like an afternoon at my grandmother's.
It was definitely performance art, not a play, not stand-up or improv. The lead artist said after the show that he thinks of himself as a sculptor and a visual artist first. The moving of props and attention to patterns and physicality, in the absence of narrative and character, felt much more like "art" and not "theater".
Much of the audience responded with laughs, I guess as the bad-news bear I enjoyed the work on a level of deconstruction of language, culture, the absurdity of the social. I admit, especially due to the British accents, it did have its moments of BBC comedy.
I like thinking in Ain Gordonist terms about the post-show discussion. Was that a performance? Did the audience members asking questions become performers? Did they know it? Were they successful? Was the piece successful? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, in a dry satire sort of way. Yes.
Also an every day situation: