Monthly Archives: May 2022

Satan vs. God

May 6th – June 5th, 2022
Brighton Fringe, Streaming

Being part of a Fringe feels very different when only attending digitally because the personas are all very different. The 2022 Brighton Fringe, digital experience, includes a performance of a new play called intriguingly ‘Satan vs. God’. When the film/play began the levels were set by red images of a chapel with what looked like a priest or monk praying. It excitedly came into focus that Deaon Griffin-Presley would take the part of Satan, a character and play that he made his own

Going into this play written and performed by the young talent of Deaon he was unafraid of conversing in a way that pushed along with an extended arm, foot and head. No need for boundaries; its existential constructions ran so well as to show quite another side of our usual reality. The original sense of red left us in a state of something somewhat disturbing in its revelation also being the colour of rage and anger.

And this talk with God had Satan upset and there was a kind of howling, he spoke in hisses ad defiant whispers, his movement and act had in it a powerful sheerness that he managed to accomplish; all in turmoil. It had its deep set to mark an exuding excellence of darkness and colossal moments but God answered little of Satan’s questions until his fallen angel quietened and withdrew.

Abounding in simplicity sounds and visions were used as though as a vehicle for the thought of a plot as open as is possible. The first angel Lucifer had corrupted Gods creations and his seething tongue cursed the Father of Heaven. And the rights of passage where Satan self destructed; knowing that redemption was impossible. Can we imagine a state where no one is to retrieve anything from, Satan’s position was never to improve, ever.

To its credit the concepts at work moved along with no little certainty that didn’t fall short of something sublime, yet had a completeness for abusing liken to a serious domestic scene that will never be cleaned up. Satan’s pain’s and anguish’s were impossible to ignore with writing for a one man act.

Divinity, evil, humanity were immersed into a pressing need at times harsh to be aware of; hissing undertones of discomfort. Whatever it’s genuine graces the greater message hit home as an epic drama. In the styles at play we were allowed all the way into the guts of a performance something like a documentary chiselling its forceful concepts that roved around the conversation historical and accurate depiction; an epic to shake the Earth and bring low creation. God never forgave Satan, nor is to do so, a hard place for feelings.

In repetition he gladly loved God in their special relationship. Expressed where insights and demands made to set aflame the desires of both. His anger flew into a rage, his tones of vocals had in them predicament’s and unsettling presence’s; asking us for only one act of praise that could recreate God’s work in partnership and coming glory.

The greatest and somehow truest of calamity that rose shone with a likeliness of a part as to touch the heart of us and link us to something of the way beyond; the finality. Opening; an unlimited unlocking of creative and subjective freedom rising in importance. The theatre contained at its best and most serenely with a huge crunching tale giving a voice of clarity, holiness and tragic heart break.

Satan, so hurt by his father’s actions cries to his lord and only asks for forgiveness but of course God is found to be less than courteous with behaviour as to condemn his offspring. He sees it all as a wanton desire to create punishment for his angel. Totally believable, examines Satan’s plight to the greatest of detail, a success of skill, thought, revival and ruling. Satan tears were as a howling child with great pain and heart rending participation in a calling of masterful prowess.

Daniel Donnelly

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Practice of Zen

May 6th – June 5th, 2022
Brighton Fringe, Streaming

Things came into sharp focus for the Brighton Fringe play ‘Practice of Zen’ the story of the magic of yin yang was set to be an epic play by The Hong Kong theatre group who are called ‘Ronin Limited’. Alex Tam Hung Man’s writing and directing tells this tale of woe and heart ache as though he was guided through by super human hands.

The universality of themes were strewn across the screen as in its narration on all things of creation being quickly listed from top to bottom, sun to earth to sea to water. So in the natural elements we bathed as the story began.

The set was fluttering with riches of such quality yet was without anything grotesque or indulged. Very old theatre grabbed its audience with a sense of everything being new and even unexplored. Character’s came out of the dust some wearing costumes of large proportions making the performer into something other than human entirely.

The story plumed forth with pace, gusto, benevolence and brilliance. But the tragedy seeped its way into our hero’s tale, who seemed to be selected by the gods. Time was set aside for every feeling and thought and there was nothing that was missed or overlooked.

To wake up after centuries of sleep had the Cantonese character perplexed and followed by centuries of journey’s all taken for love. The all inclusive dialogue had so much of fate to deal with and had a hand in every facet taken for serene dispensation, in colours and musical voices.

A war hero, a crow, magical beings all brought about to aid in the journey for finality and bided time through acceptance and lack of fight (if not to protect oneself). Each act was called out in Mercy or other protractions… and the black crow cawed, swooped and nurtured the head of her whose tale it was to enact her long searching and profound realisation.

But after all her encounters, and having been brought to Satan’s mercy, her friend dies and was to come to life no more. The physical presence of characters was greatly perceived as was each intonation from the narrative dialogue. Mountains, rivers all looked real in my mind, I was there listening to the trickling water or simply adhering to the words that dript from these sultry voices.

For everyone’s wisdom became doubt, there was unfamiliarity and escapism. For all I am what will I be it seemed to ask. Incisive passions and patterns that rose as clearly as the changing and wonderful sets, passions that were well rehearsed, well laid down and taken care of. A classical play in a tale that transports well across the globe giving the universal meaning that affects us all; the great journey into the beyond.

Also beholden of such vibes of traditional yet complex play, sore yet untouched and charming; offering up the soul itself for contemplation in a sense as easily partaken as breathing. The world of Zen was a martial world and the play was to overtake that and continually put things into place if they could be.

Full of Grace, forbearance, wit, charm, and ultimately a love for those to whom the hero speaks, in finality to take her walk into the unknown of death, she skipped off the stage and disappeared.

Daniel Donnelly

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Petrol and Neurons by Vince Licata

May 6th – June 5th, 2022
Brighton Fringe, Streaming

For this play ‘Petrol and Neurons’ by Vince Licata, at the Brighton Fringe 2022 my laptop felt very much like a tiny theatre screen with luscious red curtains and all, tuning in to something very entertaining. The play was a mock Zoom chat, all business and nothing personal. Andy (whose name was onscreen) sat waiting to be joined until Danny Gauche turned up just off screen.

The business was about a transaction, monetarily, on a big scale that only someone rich could afford. They talked back and forth about chips, well and oil rigs, Danny was very excited. They kept mentioning a woman by the name of Annie (who would turn out to be Danny wife), agreeing that she would be kept out of it.

The simple transaction once made would have immediate effect. Once signed for they parted their Zoom correspondence with pleasure, but Andy forgot to do something important. Laughing loudly had he just got away with something big? Enter Annie onscreen, the plan had gone well, and the fee had been transferred.

This was a satirical play commenting on the larger world being made by the smallest of inter actions. With a good old fashioned villain versus the naivety of the rest. Petrol is at the heart of the modern world, and then enters Neurons to complete the look.

From the corruption of Annie and Andy, framed in the set of a zoom call, the game was given up when Andy forgot to turn off the meeting and Danny heard everything. Youthful scientists were called for in the shape of two colleagues Alex and Chris.

Alex’s head phones sat on his head as he waited to be joined for an organised Zoom meeting between colleagues who share a scientific life. As he waits Chris shows up but only started to flirt with him, and the meeting took to chit chat rather than science. They didn’t know it but the meeting would be cancelled because of illness.

Chris’s thoughts were only on the idea of her and him having been together the previous night, but Andy doesn’t want it. Chris, with the broadest of smiles, offer’s herself up for another night of love. But Andy found himself perplexed having been weeks in preparation for this zoom event, having been experimenting at his lab.

So they compose a little as he relay’s to her his present brain cell experimentation in which he had found something he called distraction that stopped the cells from certain behaviours. And in a philosophic state of mind he referred to himself as having behaviour that followed in the same ways as these cells, an idea that he liked with the insight offering links to how the brain actually works.

But when they then find out about the cancellation they both simply laughed at its absurdity and warm up to each other again. It was a 2 half glimpse into life behind and beyond science and business filling the programme in the used of parable’s. To offer an insight, that brought a sense of thinking in the sparks of mental activity.

And oh may I mention that the whole thing was done in German (with English subtitles) that added a healthy dose of culture to an absorbing encounter.

Daniel Donnelly

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Disenchanted: A Cabaret of Twisted Fairy Tales

May 6th – June 5th, 2022
Brighton Fringe, Streaming

Being online for the 2022 Brighton Fringe is proving to be an avant garde experience and I’m only into my third show. ‘Disenchanted: a cabaret of Twisted Fairy tales’ is the cabaret written and performed by the outspoken Eliane Morel, it was an hour of Fairy Tales extravagance’s and gave dedication to one Madame d’ Aulnoy who it was said to have coined the term ‘fairy tale’ back in the 17th Century.

The story began in Paris in 1699 with a little black and white footage and a voice introducing us to the time. The play included a high kicking feeling in its Cabaret direction. And its visual accomplishments were tenfold for getting a across its themes with a very plush looking Eliane wearing black feathers and a mask. And for the first sweet rendering of said Fairy Tales it referred to Snow White with a spit screen conversation with the magical mirror.

Her prowess carried through the acts with reverence, completion and beauty. The scene changes offered up some very illuminating character’s whose ideas were in the forms of mural paintings and photographic wonderment; pictures from mansion halls to bedroom’s concise with walls and backdrops. She grabbed us with swift tempo and in the elaborate presentation with which each tale was told we began to wonder what (apart from its enthusiasm) kind of angle it might take. Mostly following the originals there was in it the said completion; a world where we could forget ourselves. In its brevity we found everything that a play can possibly adhere to. Taking us where magical things occurred from Eliane’s artistry.

The characters seemed to be participating in a larger journey that took its (metaphorical) curtain calls and prophetic poetry from the enhancement of placing operatic vocals and titillating narration. And at every turn of character the songs became a fusion of genres from Eastern folk dance music to capable operatic overflowing. Every media was used in the representation that stood out in its finery. And the wonderful visuals that were so many they cut the coupling plots and the old stories were told afresh and reverently, with excitement and veering.

We were hers, as she became one step closer to familiarity; she clawed at us, and became our friend, holding us in suspension with a spreading of details that she made inclusive. Speaking English with a French accent or doing a London cockney, with traceable movement’s made by such fusion in writing, like following bread crumbs.

Eliane’s professional talents include: singer/actor/writer, and with great fluency on screen she used all three bringing all of it to the table. Fun, dark (sexy), garb changes, and a use of Fairy Tales to make a cabaret of things. I found it very enthrallingly entertaining, at a pace where there was no time to switch off, you wouldn’t want to, intelligent and funny, artistry oozing from every corner, and a story worth telling.

From Snow White to Red Riding hood it compelled with written and acted benevolence. She was it all and she climbed through every story she could think of. Mixing with enthusiasm she gave a voice to the interplay of realities to bring theatre out of itself and to fit large expectations out of the very walls and backdrops in its far reaching semblance on the fun of these Tales that is at their heart.

Daniel Donnelly

Lou Ye Gui Gen ‘Getting home’

May 6th, 2022
Brighton Fringe (Digital)

For my first show of this year’s 2022 Brighton Fringe Festival I tuned into a performance by Cheryl Ho called Lou Ye Gui Gen “Getting home”. It was about a woman who finds herself far from her home in Singapore after leaving for Melbourne Australia. It was an online show from her many points of view of looking at travelling and realities of living in 2022.

In her many faceted act, where screen changes were aplenty we were taken to another side of the world and in the highs and lows that were involved when creating a big uprooting in life. She introduced us with feeling of personal potential with compassion using examples of indigenous folk who make up a large percentage of population.

Looking back on the show her varying personalities have come together with the feelings being iterated, from great striding confidence to soft, lonely, whispers. It was very conclusive and very vague in her attitudes of what she ‘had to do’ like leaving home.

She was an actor with potential employment in the field also working in the arts. The vain she hit had such a commonplace, community based yearning for success as she took important phone calls, messages and corresponding letters.

She despaired, she succeeded and was able to compose herself for every turn of event. And as she taught she changed; making a template for other future projections. She took on a few characters who were necessary in one way or another, always looking at the spiritual sacredness of love and life.

Calling on the sacrifice of ancestors as the main theme for the play she directed good and gracious gratitude to life through her family and friends. She particularly enjoyed her relationship with Aunt Ah Ma, it was saying goodbye to her Aunt that pulled her heart chords the most when she left Singapore for the chances of an enriching future.

She was dramatic, personal, calm, serious and to each of these gave her greatest forbearance; showing us that links are made in the mind so as to see everything through until reasons behind it all can be revealed. And as it went by with the scene changes it would return with feelings that also partook in the plot whose unravelling was written with great compunction also by Cheryl.

She knew that the world was for her but from her increased sense of the unknown she dove into crippling doubts that fed her animated philosophy into something for kindness and love. Her professional intentions are rich as she portrays to an exact level what she wants to be heard in her plights for the real world.

There are earthquakes to deal with offering a towering height to things, scene changes that become real and structurally important. Taking closeness and distance to things. She was shown in bed or at a desk or in front of a wall written with notes for life. But finally in her magnanimity she finds out what really matters with ‘when are you coming home’.

Daniel Donnelly