Lately, I’ve felt nostalgic for the 90s, what with Britney being given complete control over her life now, and the fact that– what’s that? Oh, she hasn’t? Wait, where am I?
Ah yes, that’s right, nostalgia.
It’s easy to pine for the rat race which we lost somewhere around this time last year, and which has reared it’s ugly head again the moment we heard that rehearsals were FINALLY deemed worthy enough to continue.
It’s easier too, to live in that dream-world which seems not so long ago and ages away, where we could have our pick of a plethora of live performances at the weekend, drinks at the local after, and no limit on the people or parties we might encounter in between.
And honestly, I’ve lived in a sort of half state, so exhausted at the changing goalposts, that I’m fairly certain the government guidelines now engrained in my psyche are at least 6 weeks old right now.
As much as I keep my eye out for the snort-inducing, witty, and creative theatre related social content, I’ve noticed more lately that I’m finding more inspiration and food for thought than anything else. And as we’re halfway through the year, it’s perhaps time to get a little introspective.
Hey Arts Workers
If you tuned into our 27th episode of Stage Door Live, you will have heard Janice mention Lian Bell’s tweet:
If you work in the arts, there’s no chance you’ve escaped the already frenzied state we’re getting ourselves into again. And it’s not an unfamiliar state, in fact, I’d hazard a guess that a good few of us think we’re usually at our best when we’re under pressure, and often hold the banner of ‘over-work’ as a sign of strength or greater ability. We thrive on making the impossible possible, and the short term, high stakes, communal sacrifice of a production all too often becomes an addiction.
But it’s not ALL tough stuff, otherwise how in the world could I keep calling this Sparkles?
Abbie in The Abbey
I SAW A REAL PLAY FOLKS! In person! It was A LOT to process! I may have cried!
The staff were fantastic, entry and exit out of the theatre was efficient and smooth, and even sitting more than 2 meters away from any other audience members, you could feel a collective exhale, almost in time with the classical music playing in the pre-show.
The last show I had seen in The Abbey was The Fall of the Second Republic with Corn Exchange in March 2020. I felt like a different person stepping into that space, and I’ll be honest, I still don’t know what to feel about that. I know we’ve had to numb ourselves over the past year in ways we may not understand yet, and I can sense in myself that it might take a few shows to make me fully experience live performance again. Am I the only one?
Hybridity or the Highway
Now that we’ve been engaging with productions and projects via virtual means, I can help hoping that I can catch up on all the projects I cannot see in person by watching their online iterations.
One project that I desperately wish I could engage in some way (as their in-person tickets are sold out) is Cessair at The Civic Theatre. Presented by Tallaght Community Arts and soloSIRENS, this sounds installation sounds like it’s going to be amazing.
And as I sit finishing this, I’m listening to the babble of a small group of friends in my neighbor’s garden through my open kitchen window. I can hear sound tests for the next pilot Live Event at IMMA in the distance, and there’s a distinct taste of hope in the air, despite the recent announcements.
And now, something that lives in my head rent free (which I now understand because I’m practicing my gaeilge on Duolingo).
Take care of yourselves and each other.