Monsters and Prodigies, and Growing Room

The last few days have been intense, festival wise. We went to Rachel’s new play, which premiered to a full house (Growing Room), and was very warmly received. It has a slightly different structure when compared with the other two in the trilogy, but I do see its place clearly. I am still thinking about it. We have been talking about it, and I think it is one of those slow burners.

Monsters and Prodigies was quite the most baffling thing we had seen for a long time. I am not even sure where to start. The narrative is about castrati, and the history of Italian opera. But there are also strange creatures about – centaurs, savages, Siamese twin narrators, a rather plump person as the castrati, a rather good harpsichord player, and a beautiful (real) horse.

The first two thirds verged on painfully drawm out and verbose, however elaborately costumed the actors were. (It is a strange hybrid between a play and an opera). Then suddenly, a woman in the audience stood up and started shouting at the actors. We made a complete turnabout, instantly. A full on food fight ensued, and the air was full of bread rolls. Then the already strange spectacle turned into pop spoof in period costumes, while actors started dying melodramatically on stage. Pandemonium.

But it certainly woke us up!


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