Comrade Egg and the Chicken of Tomorrow, about a woman trying to save the world one chicken at a time, is theatre to watch out for. Part of the Litmus Fest at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington, a festival designed to support the development of new work and new ways of making work.
Bronya Deutsch of Mother Bunch (www.motherbunch.co.uk) a graduate of the Lecoq School for physical theatre in Paris, is clown, artist and activist par excellence. The exposure of the iniquity of intensive chicken farming and the dire consequences to the mental health of the factory workers is bitingly funny and so effective I’m surprised all the audience have not immediately written to their MPs to demand conditions in the meat processing industry improve or, better still, desist forthwith.
For theatre with a message to do its work, it has to be excellent and Bronya Deutsch excels.
Performed with passion, pride, soul even, enough to move the audience to gasp with fear at the daring and with wonder at the skill and dedication. This is circus par excellence, not an animal in sight.
A charming story, a sort of global fairly tale, weaves through a white knuckle ballet with audience participation. The high wire, the balancing , the graceful, the daredevil, the clowning, human endeavour and ingenuity, the set, lighting, costumes and innovation are all breathtaking.
Lately I’ve been singing. I’d always rather be dancing but failing that, singing will do: songs from Georgia. (not the Deep South but the country near the Black Sea in the Caucasus.) Food comes in to it, of course, preparing for a
feast where singing is interspersed with raising glasses for a toast and eating, or the other way about.
Recipes researched are rich in walnuts, cherries, figs, apricots abundant there. The names seductive even before the taste of stewed apricots stuffed with walnut paste or white cherries with hazelnuts registers on the tastebuds, redolent of clear turquoise seas and holidays long ago, Persian miniatures painted on slips of Ivory or gardens dripping in fruit and tinkling with fresh water.
Not sure of course of the authenticity or if my attempts even approach. Never was a fussy cook, earning the irreverent sobriquet Mrs Bunger from the children as if any old way would do. It’s not that, but I’m definitely no perfectionist.
I have been waiting for an email, as in days of yore people waited for signs and portents. It’s a way of procrastinating, obviously. If stuff happened simply because you wished it would, no one would do much at all.
There is a post prandial feel to the day. The holidays are over, no guests about to arrive to necessitate a bit of bustle and elbow grease about the place, although the lack of imminent arrivals does not remove the need for a clear up.
The weekend was spent singing in the company of singers. A festival chorus to celebrate life and the life achievements of not one hell of a musician, but two ( well three actually): John Huw Davies, a gentle, but excellent teacher, singer and conductor whose patience knows no bounds and the somewhat overlooked Cherubini, whose Mass in C is not just a revelation, but a joy not to be missed.
So much so that the concert will be broadcast from Stockport Town Hall, on Radio three.
Music , musicians, soloists and conductor irresistible.
To say nothing of JS Bach and his Magnificat which we also rehearsed and sang.
The waiting will have to wait. The day clamours, subtly, gently but loud enough to be heard.
This wolf in the wall in Hay reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s picture book and was perhaps standing there in his honour.
There was a stage adaptation of The Wolves in the Walls in Glasgow a few years ago, and very good it was too, arresting in fact, maverick and irreverent, and slightly sinister – absolutely of appeal to children.