‘Brechtian Nightmare’

Here’s a link to a lovely blog-based review of Hatch: Wish You Were Here by Richard Pilgrim, which (among many other nice comments) manages to describe it as both “a human menagerie of weird and wonderful characters” and “like stepping into a Brechtian nightmare”. Both of which we’re taking as compliments.

Full text preserved for posterity after the jump, but why not follow the link to Richard’s blog and read it in context there instead?

For the most part, I had a charming evening last night. I went to a ‘Hatch’ event at Nottingham’s Hotel Deux where the theme for the evening was ‘Wish You Were Here’. There was an astonishing array of artistic performances, all being billed as: ‘another evening of the most exciting, intriguing and curious performance-y work in town, with sixteen artists responding to notions of absence, longing and nostalgia for the Great British Holiday’. It was a human menagerie of weird and wonderful characters, and (I’m sorry to tell those of you who missed it) it was for one night only. A live artist became a beach on the patio; a cardboard ice cream van became a Punch and Judy Show; a one-woman-band played a piano with a fork attached to her head. The Hello Friends Theatre gave a ‘dress-up, dress-down’ performance in which everyone we are, or ever were, or ever could be was laid bare before us (quite literally – for on two occasions a least, the delightfully fawn-like Ollie Smith removed ALL of his clothes and sat naked before us, miming to Louis Armstrong). Glenn Simpson (a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Studio) performed a marvellous Beckett-esque soliloquy as a man whose only friend is a suitcase (see picture below right). The entire event was eclectic, witty, creative, quirky and huge, huge fun – all thanks to Michael Pinchbeck (another Studio member) whose brainchild this was. Goodness knows what Maria’s Italian friend Elizabetta made of it. With her limited knowledge of the English language, it must have been like stepping into a Brechtian nightmare for her, but she didn’t seem to complain.



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