Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

Soweto Gospel Choir

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Saw the Soweto Gospel Choir at the Concert Hall tonight.  More uplifting than a WonderBra.  (And that joke’s surely been used a million times, yes?)

A guy sitting behind me was talking to some other people in the interval, and his voice was going straight into my ears so that I was too distracted to read my Proust.  And he was saying that the Soweto Gospel Choir had been in Sydney last year (they’re a South African group), and they hadn’t done just one concert like this time around (it’s their 10th anniversary, you see), but seven concerts at the State Theatre.  And he had gone to all of them, including two on the same day – one at 5pm, and one at 8pm.  WHAT?!  Good lord.  I mean, presumably the concerts were on day-after-day, rather than spaced out, too.

Clearly it’s enthusiasm on his part, a huge enthusiasm that I, perhaps unfortunately, don’t have much of in life.  Though I wonder if it’s just because I’m too poor, for instance.  Lyndon Terracini, in an interview I heard with him, said he goes to most performances of Opera Australia’s shows, and enjoys them every night – I can imagine that I might be able to enjoy myself every night with quite a few of the shows, too.  And the really great plays that I’ve seen over the years, I could see them again and again.  (Benedict Andrews’ The Seagull, I can fairly confidently state I could see seven times in a row.  Tamas Asher’s (was that his name?) Uncle Vanya, certainly.  (Oh dear, it’s not just going to be Chekhov, is it?)  Travesties, obviously, though I’m less sure about that (a) because I didn’t see it twice, like the other two, and (b) my memory is probably a tad hazier about it, because I didn’t have theatre ingrained in me at the time.  I’m trying to think of a Shakespeare…but I don’t think I’ve seen a production that’d be good enough to warrant seven viewings.  If I ever found a great Hamlet then that would suffice.

It has to be humorous, though, I think, one of these seven-time plays.  Well, The Seagull is a tragedy, as is Uncle Vanya in a way, but those productions were certainly agreeably comic.

Strangely enough, I think I could see The White Guard septuply.  (Look at me murder the word.)  Thyestes, I suspect, would bore me after four times.

And my own plays, too, if they ever get produced.  I’d be happy to see them seven times in a row.  I have this notion that, being the playwright and thus being very oh-so-important, I can, on a whim, decide to turn up unannounced at the theatre and stand somewhere at the back where I’m not in anyone’s way (like near the sound desk, or at the back of the stalls, or what have you) and watch the play.  No clue if that idea has any contact with reality, though.  I’m not sure  I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t the case, anyway.

But that’s enough of that.  Useless parlour game, really.  Wasting my blogging time!)

A couple in front of me were talking to an on-the-verge-of-being-elderly woman.  The woman was the type I most despise (that’s an awfully strong word, and I doubt I really mean it) at the theatre/concerts/what have you.  (Has anyone noticed that I’m starting to say “what have you” instead of “whatnot”?  (No space.)  I wonder why.)  She’s the type that has to verbalise, unnecessarily, what they do/think.  So, for instance, as the house lights went down, and she noticed the spare seat next to her (as I was alone this evening, sans plus one), she remarked, “ooh, there’s a spare seat” to no one in particular.  (Well, I think she had a friend next to her, but she wasn’t turned that way.)  It’s as if they’re searching for a conversation – sticking feelers out for it – and it sets me on edge as, most of the time, I don’t want to talk with them.  (It’s not that I don’t mind a minute or two of pleasantries and such, but if she starts talking to me at the beginning of the interval, and the conversation founders, then it’s kind of rude of me to start reading my book again, and therefore I have to keep making an effort, etc…)  And then they often beam bright eyes and smiles at everyone, like a Venus flytrap, waiting for someone to smile (or acknowledge them) back, whereupon they swoop down all innocent with a “terrible weather we’re having” before launching into a monologue about their children.  (Dear me, I’m turning into Proust, aren’t I?  Analysing humanity like this.)

ANYWAY.  The couple in front (and a bit to the side) were talking with her, and telling her that they became fans of the Choir from Youtube, where they watched lots of their videos.  They were trying to convince the woman – or rather, they were extolling the virtues – to learn how to use a computer.  “Opens up a whole new world” and all that.  What interested me in the conversation, ridiculous as it may seem to a nerd like me, having to listen to them discuss technology like three-year-olds talking about what calculus means to them…  (I didn’t think it was ridiculous, just not part of my sphere, as it were.)  What interested me was the man saying, “you know what we like to do?  We like to make a romantic evening for ourselves – we get a bottle of wine (you’ve got to have a bottle of wine) – and then we sit at the computer and take turns listening to songs on Youtube.  And once you start it brings up a surprising amount of memories of younger times, and that gets you to more songs…”

I suppose it’s no different, when you think about it, to cuddling up with your girlfriend and watching a movie at home, but it sounded rather lame to me at the time.

Speaking of which, I was asked for a smoke by a tracksuited and quite fat young master at Central, then a bit later, after trading a very quick glance with a beskirted and rather lean girl walking towards the end of the platform, was not asked by her for a lighter.  She asked the guy further down from me, walked past me back up to a woman up from me, then a man up from her, who had the light.  I did have headphones in my ears, though.  (Not that it stopped Mr. Tracksuit.)  Then, on the way home, she and the first guy she asked – who had more biceps than is fair, methinks – spent the entire time chatting, and clearly they were attracted to each other (I turned around once to see what all the fuss was, and noticed both of them, sitting one seat apart in the three-seater side (he having been across the aisle originally), with their arms about their head (like if you were scrathing the back of your neck, for instance, with your elbow above your hair).  Mirroring being a sign of attraction, you see.  Plus she was giggling a ludicrous amount, including during a phone call that interrupted them, where she must have been talking to one of her friends.  And, at the end, I don’t think they swapped numbers.  All for naught!  Not that I was dismayed – I’m not fond of smokers, in general.

Gosh – aren’t I chatty tonight?  And I’ve completely forgotten to talk about NIDA.  I remember in the interview – speaking of mirroring and other body language – that I leant forward with my elbows on the desk at one point, and, promptly realising that I was running the risk of making myself seem overly familiar with the two interviewers who I’d only met fifteen minutes before – and not wanting to seem that I was not treating them with the respect they might have wanted – I leant back after five seconds or so, which had to come off as a tad awkward.  (I’m conscious of these things, more often than I’d like to be, I think.)

Not that that’s what I wanted to say about NIDA.  Tomorrow, tomorrow!

Don Quixote didn’t arrive at the library today.  What a surprise.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

439/you-know-what in the Prook.

Written by epistemysics

March 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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