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.