The triumph of the season (aside from one or two other shows I’ve seen this month!) The latest Love Club was a smash with a dynamic mix of familiar voices – as always hosted by the wonderful and wordy Markus Machiavellian and myself and the Arches Community Choir perform – but this time Julia Doogan was joined by her band (The Doogans) and there was a memorable performance from The Creative Martyrs…my new favourite maniacs.
Love Club is the brain child of Drew Taylor who produces the event as proudExposure. Each event is themed – previously I took part in “Love Club: Independence Day” as well as “Love Club: Internation Day for the Prevention of Natural Disasters.” But while the events are themed differently they have the same basic format and are always produced in the spirit of love for whatever the theme implies – so for “Independence Day” the Love Club was meant to generate love (in the form of handwritten totems created by the audiences) for America, Americans, the fresh hell that awaits George Bush, the stars and stripes as objects, etc. Each Love Club’s theme generates a host of characters, ideas, places, emotions etc. that are given love.
Love for the Dead, for the Day of the Dead, for our dead, for their dead – that was the theme on 1 November.
I performed a piece called “Santa Muerta Monfrooe.” The first section of the piece I was situated on stage and while I put face paint and a costume on the audience could hear my thoughts (pre-recorded and played over the top of my actions.) The account of my thoughts was basically that I was going to be playing Death of Mexican television as part of their national celebrations. And upon reflecting what a strange turn of events this was artistically I then plunged into a deeply emotional confession about the role of death in my creativity and artistic voice. I didn’t react to these thoughts, I just carried on putting on my face paint and costume. The second section of the piece was me presenting as Santa Muerta on Mexican television (both speaking in Spanish and “speaking” in Spanish) to a camera lens. But being me and being obsessed with Death as I am “I” couldn’t help but go off script. And the audience found themselves confronted with Santa Muerta’s wrath as best as I could channel it.
What I wanted to experiment with in this piece was the use of repetition – challenging the audience to follow me through long pauses, sustained repetition, through a long monologue that was wholly separated from my actions. I think the performance wasn’t perfect and I’d like to perform it again differently. But the reception to the piece and to these little challenges was immense. It was great fun to perform – I couldn’t hear if people were laughing or talking or what but when I came off stage I could feel the energy was alive.
It was beautifully alive all night. Drew did an amazing job transforming the space with an array of ghostly images, colours, and flowers. The skeletal donkey on stage, in a repose conveying boredom and eternal wisdom was the centre piece to the decoration. But it was the energy and wisdom of Drew’s poetry that glued the evening together – as always.
I look forward to more Love Club’s in the future. Some of the most interesting spoken word/meets live performance is happening at this event. It’s a shambolic but fruitful evening of diverse artists/musicians/performers meeting and it should have a bigger audience. This is the sector of independent artists at work. Hard and beautiful and love-filled work.