FIGHT! PALAST #membersonly

I caught FIGHT! Palast on 7/1/16 and the whole experience was really nice. FIGHT! was part of the M1 Fringe Festival as well, and it deals with how we perceive ourselves to be and what we truly are.

I liked it because it was inspired by the book/movie Fight Club itself and had references made to the book. The monologue bit that was divided among the three actors/actress was really impactful also in the sense that they kept repeating it and then adding on to it as the story goes on.

“Ok ok ok! Right?” For some reason, this phrase seemed to resonate with so many people in the crowd or for me at least. A certainty that is uncertain is definitely painful.

Story wise I would have to admit that I was pretty lost, because I did not catch the dialogue well enough and some parts eventually fell on me. I guess in general the actors were confronting events and situations where they had no control over themselves, be it because of societal expectations, of mental illness, of how the society works as well. Perhaps starting a fight club, to have something healthy to vent their frustration at, to feel pain but a good sort pain because you were working hard. Palast translates into palace in German.

The post-production was very fun as well! The three actors held three different concurrent sessions and the audience got to choose what we wanted to do among the choices of making German potato salad, try fighting and making hand casts from plaster. To be part of the session was to truly be a member of Fight Palast.

I think ultimately, Fight Palast is home.

FOREIGN BODIES | Skin in SIN

I’m starting off the new year with the M1 Fringe Festival! I caught Foreign Bodies on 5 January, which was the opening date. I originally did not plan to catch any Fringe shows this year because the selection did not really appeal to me as compared to the previous year’s theme of Art and Nature, which I enjoyed the performance Red Rabbit White Rabbit quite a bit. Coincidentally, school placements, school excursions and free tickets from a friend got me quite involved with the festival nevertheless.

And so I caught Foreign Bodies! Which was my first ever burlesque show and truthfully I was not prepared for it at all. For one, my friend called me up to tell me he had tickets since his friend could not make it and I decided why not. I had no idea what the show was about, and initially expected drag queens and cross dressing since it seemed like that from the posters and marketing collateral. But nope! I would describe it more like a series of strip tease, not that I know much about stripteasing anyway.

I would agree that progressive is a good word to describe the series because I do not think that such performances would have happened in the past, where people strip almost naked to dance and provoke the audience. It wasn’t bad in the sense that it should be censored or rated, but it was not suitable for my taste or comfort. This is my personal opinion.

I did enjoy watching something new though! I felt as if I was transported into a small club in the US where people enjoyed a hearty laugh whether the humor was bawdy or not. There was so many sexual innuendos but pretty much everybody was chill about it and were especially supportive to the performers as they cheered in delight upon more skin showing.

I mean, I do think it is slightly inappropriate. But when placed in the context of a theatre venue, it becomes a performance and even cat-calling seems like a positive feedback to the performer to continue what he/she is doing. Truthfully I am still trying to figure it out, what is the purpose of making it a burlesque show and why did they all have to be naked?  Was it necessary for everyone to be naked?

To be naked on stage…. It should be very uncomfortable. Especially for those with body types that do not conform to societal standards as sexy or beautiful. I felt like they were delivering a piece of vulnerability and truth to us, making us see them in a new light as brave beautiful people.

The theme this year is Art and Skin, and what Skin in SIN aimed to do was to make people respond to pertinent racism and xenophobia towards expats (quote M1 Fringe website). I felt like I did not get that understanding from the show. In fact, my main takeaway from the show was of body image, to appreciate that different bodies have different kinds of beauty.

From my own observations, these issues do not really threaten expats as much? Considering that they have money and power to do what they like and shouldn’t be affected compared to those in less power. If it was a comment made regarding their situation, it is not very convincing. I would feel that every body when naked is a hot body regardless of colour. In that case, how was it supposed to address racism? Or xenophobia for that matter.

Okay I shall go read up on this matter and may or may not get back to a conclusion.