Thursday, March 16, 2006

Festivalled out

Another magnificent Festival, Fringe and Womadelaide season draws to a close leaving us sated and exhausted. From the work perspective it was a matter of just making it through to the end of almost a month of review nights on top of working days - coming to the point where one was so tired that one could not sleep. Which is now. Well, the last week. A bad time to put straws on the old camel's back. But the workplace is nothing but straws.
The theatrical experiences have been rewarding - from the spectacular Berlin production of "Nora" to Angelica Torn's dazzling one-woman "Edge" performance, embodying Sylvia Plath in a skilfully-written play by Paul Alexander. There was the Stephen Sewell play, "Three Furies" on the life of Francis Bacon, a Beckett-like Irish piece called "Trad", the topical new play on cloning, "Honk if you are Jesus" by Peter Goldsworthy...there was, there was, there was.... I reviewed about 45 works, only a fraction of the massive arts entity, but largely the best part.
And, of course, it is always contenting to see the city bubbling with the sort of life the Festival brings. It's a feeling of joy - a city sharing joy. The parklands glittering and shimmering with tent theatres, cabaret, burlesque, circus and even pleasure rides for children. The river amassed with audiences 50,000 strong to see free site-specific peformances. The Persian Garden festival club crowded with convivial after-show party people. The lively hum in the piece of park where Writers' Week takes place beneath the grand marquees - the elegant sprawl of readers en masse, listening to writers talking about writing. The sounds of jazz and blues emanating from backstreet clubs. Queues of young people lined up for comedy shows. The sidewalk restaurants and cafes packed late into the night...which is not really festival-exclusive, but seems somehow more bubbling at festival time. Oh, it is all very nice. Very civilized. And I reflect on what a charming city this is.

No comments: