My Post Abuse Handbook

I think of myself as a survivor rather than a victim of sexual abuse but it was a process to reach that personal status I can tell you.

 

The complex emotions experienced by a victim are wearing to the individuals’ spirit; thinking too much about an incident can cause discomfort and distress, panic attacks, distractions, difficulty focusing on one thing. When you must return to the scene of a crime it is good to use different ways to remember details in a safe way, a way that gives you some distance from the immediacy of any trauma.

Taking someone on the journey with you is helpful. You can create the maps you will need to bring someone on the journey. What do you need a map of? Where is this map? Why would you need this map? How does this map help?

You can slow an incident down in time and place, moment by moment just the way a film plays in slow motion. If you can see three things in one place that you remember it is a great idea to draw them down, write them down.

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You can mark significant events on a calendar as signposts; birthdays, holidays, weekend activities, the movie you saw at the cinema, the drive in, the sporting event you saw, a change of style in your appearance like a haircut or needing glasses.

If you saw a movie or a band or some kind of entertainment you may as well go to the State Library and check if they have copies of the newspapers that advertised the event. I once found an exact weekend by checking the date a film played in a cinema which was very helpful.

During the process of giving evidence I realised I needed to pin point times, dates and events as closely as possible for the Police. I quickly discovered that after blocking certain things out of my mind for a long time, not dealing with them, I had made it difficult to simply recall some things.

Once I applied a few strategies of recalling things that were very helpful for me, I thought it would be useful to write these things down, make them available to other people who are dealing with the same or similar circumstances. I want to give it away, not make money out of it.

Here is an ANZ account where anyone can make a direct bank donation to my Post Abuse Handbook:

BSB: 015 354

ACCOUNT # 392747882

Please include a return email so I can send you a reward and copy of the book once produced, which, if I reach target, should be before the end of 2015.

Many thanks for any and all donations; I am due to have some surgery over the next day or so. This means I will not be posting again until the middle of next week I expect. Thanks again.

 

DPJ

 

My Post Abuse Handbook

Fringe Dwelling #ADLfringe

Adelaide bursts with choice during the Fringe Festival.

 

Pat Wilson Adrian Barnes

When we are old and gay

Saturday, 7th March, 2015, at 10:00pm
Sunday, 8th March, 2015, at 10:00pm
at The Nexus Cabaret Space
Lion Arts Centre, corner North Terrance & Morphett Street, Adelaide.

Just when you thought it was safe to come to the Adelaide FringeAdrian Barnes and Pat Wilson are back with their latest cabaret, When we are old and gay… and yes, it’s just as tacky as the other shows* were.. Barnes and Wilson, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin, do their all-original cabaret about getting older but never wiser.

The first season of this new show packed out the elegant Slide Bar in Oxford Street, Sydney.  Now, the geriatric jokers have returned to their old home town, bringing their racy, razor-sharp musical wit.

What should a tranny granny wear?

Can seniors Depend on Poise?

Is B & D only for the young and nubile?

Where are the car keys?

These, and more, questions are fearlessly addressed.   It’s silly, it’s wildly entertaining, and it’s Barnes and Wilson at their sparkling best.

He sings, she sings and plays a mean piano.  You laugh – if you dare.  It’s original satirical cabaret from veterans of the Edinburgh Fringe and the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

So round up your deviant old uncle, or persuade your favourite (unmarried) auntie with the diamante nipple-clips to join you, and slip into Nexus for an hour’s cabaret of riotous filth and fun.

One of the best things over the last few festivals has been the expansion of venues around the inner city and with that expansion, a great deal more variety. In so many ways it is the most difficult time for performers to get an audience because the audience have so many options; one of the main reasons why people only come to perform at a festival once, just to live it and love it, then go home from your tour without a cent – but some great memories.

 

 

Not everyone goes home without a cent, and everyone returns home with a story to tell, so don’t let me dissuade you from bring your show along, but hey, by now you have done all of that and are registered as an artist with your very own listing in the official program.

 

Now all you need to do is sell tickets, pack your bags, sell tickets, make sure someone is going to feed the animals, sell tickets, ensure that your house is being looked after while you are officially ‘on tour’, sell tickets, book all your billets or accommodation, sell tickets… ah the life of a touring artist!

 

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When you do land in a new city with your show, what next? Everyone has posters up and handbills to give out – you may or may not want to take that route. Maybe the best you can do is spruik your show with a loudspeaker or a sandwich board?

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The Post Abuse Handbook #Crowdfunding 34 hours to go…

I think of myself as a survivor rather than a victim of sexual abuse but it was a process to reach that personal status I can tell you.

During the process of giving evidence I realised I needed to pinpoint times, dates and events as closely as possible for the Police. I quickly discovered that after blocking certain things out of my mind for a long time, not dealing with them, I had made it difficult to simply recall some things.

Once I applied a few strategies of recalling things that were very helpful for me, I thought it would be useful to write these things down, make them available to other people who are dealing with the same or similar circumstances. I want to give it away, not make money out of it.

DarkHouse1 DarkHouse2 DarkHouse3 DarkHouse4

The complex emotions of a victim are wearing to the spirit; thinking too much about an incident can cause you great discomfort and distress.

It is good to bring yourself back to places in a broader way, a way that gives you some distance from the immediacy of any traumatic event.

Think of the maps you would need to identify places. What would you need a map of? Where would you need the map of? Why would you need each map? How would each of them help?

You can break a journey down to time and place, moment by moment. You can mark significant events as signposts; birthdays, holidays, weekend activities, the movie you saw at the cinema, the drive in, the sporting event you saw, a change of style in your appearance like a haircut or needing glasses.

Here is an ANZ Bank account where anyone can make a direct donation to this project. The money raised will produce an accessible resource for people attempting to recall evidence of sexual assault:
BSB: 015 354
ACCOUNT # 392747882

Please include a return email so I can send you a reward and copy of the book once produced, which, if I reach target, should be before the end of 2015.

The Post Abuse Handbook #Crowdfunding 34 hours to go…

Black Diggers

Black Diggers
By Tom Wright
Directed by Wesley Enoch

This story addresses the horrors of war, the damage it does to men, their families and communities.  At face value we are seeing how indigenous characters responded to call to arms and how it impacted on their lives at a time when they were not even counted as Australian citizens.

These indigenous men all experience discrimination, race hatred and confusion at the white lies they are told by most of the men they encounter outside of their kin. People are damaged by war. Men are especially damaged by war; first to go and die in it. Some survive, many do not. The First World War was a numbers war. Strategies based on outnumbering the enemy; flooding as many soldiers in as possible. This is some of the most inhuman human behaviour drawing on belonging and ownership. People fight for their land and freedom upon it in differing ways; historically the Australian First Peoples were not a war like race so the moral compass gets a battering when young indigenous lads rush off to play their part in what is sold as a big adventure.

Many white Australian lads went off to the First World War pretending they were older (and wiser) than what they actually were; so why would it be different for young indigenous men? There is a hard wired desire to identify and conquer something grand in young men be it breaking the wildness out of a Brumby or crossing the sea to vanquish an unknown enemy.

Generations after this war it is still celebrated and many of the individuals have been lifted to the status of hero but indigenous men who fought in the First World War have not been lauded. They have received treatment more like the Australian’s who fought in Vietnam. They return damaged to a community that simply is not prepared or equipped to entirely deal with the transformed soldier; the broken men, the spirit stripped back, the grief on the surface. There are many little moments in this play that highlight the ironies and contradictions of serving the King. Overall the production is very good and brings a lot of emotionally challenging issues up for the audience to absorb.

I felt there were problems with the production of Tom Wright’s Black Diggers on opening night in Adelaide. I put it down to a cast and crew moving into a new venue as they tour this production. I wondered if they may have been feeling challenged by the very old size and shape of Her Majesty’s Theatre, and that it is not the ideal venue for their show; I certainly did. Sightlines, sound levels and awkward blocking distracted from the core action at times and made some scenes very difficult to follow.

Structurally the play flounders toward the end as Wright attempts to sign off on the story of each character he has introduced; this dragged at times. There is little joy for any returned soldiers, a lot of pain; in this case having so many scenes that seem like they are wrapping things up becomes frustrating. It felt like the stage is only a temporary space for this story; that the writer is thinking about the screen. I may be wrong about the writer’s intention but it gave me a strong impression that this is his ultimate goal, to see this story on the screen where a broader visual brush can illustrate the many resolutions. It is an important story; acknowledging the indigenous boys who served for King and Country, even though they mostly had little idea what they were getting into beyond the promised adventure.

The set, and the relationship the actors have with it evokes a strong Brechtian style: significant dates names and words are drawn onto the massive dark walls that entomb the action (only to whitewashed over later). The script bulges with poetic prose that sometimes requires less emphasis; it is a very thin line between sounding poetic and being poetic. It would be very easy to say it is a great production simply because it is an all indigenous cast and they work extremely well as an ensemble often hitting the beats in a scene like clockwork; it is a very good production but it didn’t rise to greatness for me because of technical failures. Songs sung early on were drowned out by the amplified backing music. Much of the direction has actors facing the audience and playing scenes out into the auditorium which stylistically feels awkward beside ensemble scenes where physicality and movement create atmosphere and flashes of stark light cast effective shadows.

There are deeply moving scenes of a young lad who comes home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that hit the nail on the head with hardly a word spoken; completely profound.

The cast switch from one character to another with simple costume changes and slight physical alterations proving that they have everything it takes to lift this production up but when you are struggling to understand what is being said their hard work doesn’t always reach the heights you know it could. I found this shortcoming disappointing, and I imagine it will be corrected before the play is presented again at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

There were curious local landmarks thrown in here and there to connect characters to our metropolitan area which seemed a little unnecessary and strained; characters saying they came from Thebarton and other local areas was a little odd and although it may have hit the right buttons for some locals it didn’t quite sit right with me, it seemed to be there for effect rather than authenticity. Maybe there were indigenous men from the inner city suburbs of Adelaide who served in the First World War, I have not noticed any in the research I have done but I am willing to be corrected here because this is very new territory. I am mostly aware of Saunders, the indigenous officer who served in the Second World War, another unsung hero of his day.

The nasty treatment of the indigenous men by the majority of white men back at home after the war is not really new information but it is obviously necessary to show, land grabs by Government and misunderstandings of motive by blood community are sad historic realities. Have things changed? Yes they have, but not as much as one would expect, and these experiences felt by the indigenous soldiers are not so divorced from the experiences of white men. It is the telling of the story and the demonstration of those very personal experiences that really touched me. The very basic human elements that show we are all essentially the same and equal in how we think, experience and feel.

There are lots of audience members who will not have had a clue of these First World War veterans and will have gained a much greater insight after seeing this play. It is a valuable story for us all and I encourage anyone who enjoys a good dramatic night in the theatre to go along but try to get seats in the middle of the row if you want a good a view of everything. Sitting in the first eight or nine seats cuts off some of the sightlines and may leave you wondering what just happened here and there.

I’m glad I saw this production; heartened to see such a wide range of indigenous actors doing fine work. I walked away feeling there was something missing from the text. I noticed the characters referred to themselves as a range of slang words including coon and darkie but I don’t recall ever hearing any of them speak about being a human. Again I may have missed this because there seemed to be some head mics working well and others simply not picking up what was being said, but it started a conversation between my brother and I as we left the theatre.

I’m not trying to say that all wrapped up in a neat little package, “this production is a conversation starter,” that would only be one part of what it is; there are a lot of really potent human moments that illustrate how we are actually all the same despite our differences. As constructs that are devised by greater controlling forces such as governments and monarchs impose inequality do they also teach inequality only to eventually steep the human spirit in righteousness? This is what I took away from Black Diggers.

 

Branco GarciaPhoto Credit: Branco Gaica

Black Diggers

Food Booze Sex Dance #ADLfringe #RedFezConcepts

Red Fez Concepts present

Food Booze Sex Dance

Well the title says it all really, except there is no actual sex taking place. This is a great night out for adults who enjoy burlesque. It is in a back room at the Crown and Sceptre Hotel in King William Street. Café tables, white tablecloths, live man on the electric piano and outstanding value for money.

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I attended alone sans raincoat. Because I was alone I was ushered to the bachelor’s table which was the first highlight of the evening because as soon as a pair of unaccompanied women came in they were sent to join me. With another single fellow who attended solo we made up one of those ‘fun night out’ groups of random strangers who end up chatting and having a laugh together. We at the bachelor table came from all around the country; Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide. It was pretty amazing and fully unexpected to have such a diverse little group at one table.

The show was great. For such a small space Fez Concepts managed to cover every corner of the burlesque compass with aplomb. Some very rigorous pole dancing, a giant champagne glass complete with splashes that did not hit the audience – some excellent choreography meant we got to watch the spray not wear it.

Featuring lots of scantily clad women each of whom looked authentic and certainly kept it real all through the show. Nothing particularly lurid or nasty happened at all, which is good. I wondered about the title when I first saw it on my invitation list; do I really want to go out and see… sex? No, not really. I was in luck.

The added bonus is you get a great feed as part of the show. Hostess for the evening was the deliciously feminine Eva Marie Sinner who explains the etiquette and warms the audience up with a few insights rousing the animal instinct refreshingly. Sinner is assisted by her piano man and co-host JJPF Le Coq, a smooth charmer with a fine voice and fun personality.

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Sirena del Rossa is a lithe and long limbed lass who bubbles with enthusiasm as she cavorts in a champagne glass with elfish style. Her act toasts the show from the top. Stiletto Star and Moisty Magic’s act gets about as creamy as possible without putting anyone off side; in fact the audience participation was the cherry on top of a flirty flourish from these two star performers.

Pixie Piper adorned with massive horns grips a pole and works it until the crowd go wild, then opens up and invites a couple of her kinetically charmed kittens to create a visually spectacular finish.

All the while there are set changes and breaks so we can wrap our lips around a range of delicious edibles. The food is basically burlesque friendly, the shapes and sizes of things that are destined to end up in your mouth do not require knives and forks, but you can use utensils if you like.

Sweet and savoury are balanced just as well as Pixie Piper is on top of her game. Eva Marie Sinner presses you to hold on as long as you can so that when it comes to gobbling things up there’s a good reason to do it together, but it you have to gorge on ahead she doesn’t dampen things down.

Obviously this is an adult show, but it isn’t nasty, it is actually very tasty and the final dish is smooth, light and a very just dessert. You’ll be so glad you came I imagine plenty will want to come again.

The size of the room is just right to feel like you’re in a packed house and it was good to see everyone enjoying themselves, their food and the captivating cast. I haven’t mentioned Buff Lightyear the trim and charming fellow who accompanies Stiletto Star and Moisty Magic for their final act but he is a real charmer and something special for the ladies; no, he doesn’t look like he has overdosed on steroids or fallen off the last float in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, he looks like your average handsome fellow, with a few extras, but again, nothing nasty.

All in all Food Booze Sex Dance is a fine night out; the food is fresh and flavoursome, the booze is wet, the dance is delightful and the sex is all in your head but don’t let that stop you from coming.

 

More details HERE

 

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Food Booze Sex Dance #ADLfringe #RedFezConcepts

Bill Viola #ADLfest

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I started my Viola viewing at the Art Gallery of South Australia then walked on to St Peter’s Cathedral, then on Queen’s Theatre. The Adelaide Festival’s Artistic Director David Sefton explains in the free program for this exhibition that this is a broad view of Bill Viola’s work. I imagine the video art is spread over these three venues to give it room to resonate; it is large in size and scope.

I found the combination of sitting quietly viewing different artworks and then moving on to the next site provided a good opportunity to reflect on what I had seen and to stay with the feelings each work gave me. Chronologically it meant I was seeing the oldest and most recent of his work on show in the first venue, so I could have chosen to call it a day at right there; I could have, if the work had not been so compelling.

The Art Gallery of South Australia is a safe place to start this journey. Large screens show human figures contending with the elements of our existence, air, fire, water, earth. As the pieces play through from start to finish the controlled environment becomes a space of transformation, initiation into the aesthetic of Viola perhaps, but certainly for my part, transformative in the sense that I empathise with these human subjects. Other people around me in the dark agreed; we didn’t think about how the artist created these amazing views that render us mortal on the threshold between security and insecurity as observers.

I stopped thinking all together and allowed the metaphysical images to draw me into a meditation. If I had the money and the space I think I would probably install one of these pieces at home and just sit and watch it for hours and hours on end.

We are imaginative but fragile creatures on so many levels and these days thanks to Computer Generated Images (CGI) everything imagined can be integrated into a blockbuster movie; we are used to seeing the impossible happen every day.

These works draw us along on journeys we have all taken… birth, emerging into life through the water of our mother; death, reinvention as two sides of the same screen must be circled to appreciate the synchronicity and flourish of life. I found it very profound, sacred and very beautiful.

The walk to St Peter’s Cathedral from the Art Gallery of South Australia was charged by a sense of enduring humanity after watching these first works. Even though I am not particularly religious I found the destination alluring because it is such an icon. An icon I see often but rarely think about. After seeing flames and water temper human forms, and a man floating towards the surface of a deep pool, the structure of the Cathedral seemed to be exposed as a genuine attempt by humanity to take a stand against the elements.

Inside the Cathedral rather than notice a lot of religious stuff my eye was immediately drawn to the flames on the candles, the play of the light through the stained glass windows. Inside the small prayer room where the exhibit is housed felt small and dour. The imposition of hierarchy pressed down from all angles and Viola’s Three Women touched me in many ways. One of the plays I wrote in the 1990s was about three women and concerned midwives being oppressed by the burgeoning church state; so I felt very drawn to this work. It spoke of mortality, as does all his work. Art is, in the eye of the beholder, whatever it makes you feel. Bill Viola’s art made me feel very quiet and peaceful; thankful.

I tend to have my spiritual experiences in art galleries more often than I do in any other place of worship, and I haven’t set foot in St Peter’s Cathedral since I went to a cousin’s wedding there forty years ago; hasn’t changed much but now it will linger in my mind as the place where I saw Three Women, the work that I’m very glad I did see because it offered so many resonances.

Exiting the Cathedral into the warm sunny afternoon was a shock because by now Viola’s symbolism had really focussed my mind. Walking beside Adelaide Oval and comparing these two iconic structures pondering what they generally mean to people gave me a new sense of awe. I don’t often feel a sense of awe walking around Adelaide. Familiarity breeds disinterest if not contempt. My focus shifted to the waterfall on the footbridge and the sprays of fluid floating around.

DSC_0633 DSC_0733The richness of the colours in Viola’s work is intense; outside in the sunshine, walking back towards the Festival Centre I noticed how similar colours stood out in the landscape now.

The oldest standing theatre in Adelaide, Queen’s Theatre was my final destination. Dark, musty, cavernous; everything that had felt safe and serene about the last venues was turned on its head. The modern finish of Viola’s work contrasts starkly with this venue. The smell of dirt and hot galvanized iron permeated the air and added just the right atmosphere to the massive wall of fire on the screen.

It is very likely that some people will not be moved by these works; they may look and see a big television with not much going on. Some folk may be hankering to change channels and check on the cricket scores or catch a news break. I could not help but be moved.

Everything of Bill Viola in this exhibition is open to interpretation. The narratives he creates are like a fusion of Noh Theatre and dreams; the slow pace, the impossible situations. The floating bodies, the flowing waters all speak to our experience of life and being alive against all odds in a mysterious universe.

The work has great universality; it takes classic icons of myth and story and populates them with people that seem contemporary. Crossing thresholds, ascension, the river of time, the rejuvenating destruction of fire, the implausible solidity of the ground we walk on, all of these things come into play and yet none of it seems too repetitious, too slow, too gaudy or too smart for its own good.

I have seen photographs of the work before and I have read a little about the artist, but now that I have seen the work, sat in the same room or walked around it in the dark I feel it has given me something new: It has given me a perspective and a connecting tissue between three points of my city, it has made me reconsider the reasons why people build the buildings we do, why we are compelled to gather together and either worship or endure as a species. I wasn’t expecting that.

I think we are very lucky to have the opportunity to look at this work. The exhibitions are all free and accessible so while they are in town I highly recommend you go and take a look. I spent the best part of a Saturday afternoon wandering between each venue and watching each of the short works on display, but even a cursory look in during a lunch break is likely to impress.

Most of the individual works require about fifteen minutes viewing time. The longest, The Messenger requires thirty minutes of your time. If you relax and allow the artwork to simply play out in front of you I am pretty sure you will find it a memorable experience.

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Bill Viola #ADLfest

My potential #crowdfunding tragedy

I have had a crowd funding campaign running since Christmas 2014 seeking to raise funds via donations for a small book designed to share insights into the court process (primarily) for men who are dealing with sexual assault or abuse when they were younger.

My intention is to create an accessible book that uses Easy English and video/sound recordings for people living with disability. I call it The Post-Abuse Handbook for Boys and to date I have attracted sixteen generous donations from people around the world and have raised one tenth of what I need to produce the book and then offer it as a free resource.

I have also had quite a lot of unexpected abuse directed at me by women, because I’m pitching my book at other men. There are two main reasons that I am pitching it this way:

  1. I couldn’t find anything useful pitched at men while I was going through the court process myself and I found quite a few really good things created for (and by) women.
  2. I don’t imagine it is appropriate for me, a male, to start offering advice to women about their experiences of sexual assault; it simply doesn’t feel right to me.

There is nothing stopping anyone of any gender reading the material.

The motivation to create this resource comes from enduring a seven year long trial of my own, as a witness, after being raped, molested and assaulted by men who have all now been sentenced after the trial.

Yes I am a victim, but I don’t think of myself that way. I think of myself as a survivor.

During the process of giving evidence I realised I needed to pin point times, dates and events as closely as possible for the Police. I quickly discovered that after blocking certain things out of my mind for a long time, not dealing with them, I had made it difficult to simply recall some things.

Once I applied a few strategies of recalling things that were very helpful for me, I thought it would be useful to write these things down, make them available to other people who are dealing with the same or similar circumstances. I want to give it away, not make money out of it.

Sadly, it looks like I will be sending the money back to those whom have donated so far and putting the idea behind me, along with the support I have maintained for various organisations and individuals over the years. If I don’t reach target I am taking the hint and moving on with my life.

One individual handed me a generous donation after discussing the project for a few minutes with her on a bus; a true philanthropist. I have used a crowd funding platform called Fund Anything, I can’t say I recommend it. There have been three people feeding back to me that they had trouble making a donation via Pay Pal and so they gave up. Tragic feedback to get.

To combat this problem with Pay Pal and Fund Anything I have set up an account where anyone can make a direct bank donation.

Details here:

BSB: 015 354
ACCOUNT#: 392747882

Please include a return email so I can send you a reward and copy of the book once produced, which, if I reach target, should be before the end of 2015.

I’ve watched a couple of other crowdfunding campaigns begin and end during mine, both hit above their targets; these other campaigns were for cabaret and theatre projects, so maybe I should not compare.

Various Twitter based marketeers and advertisers have offered their expert assistance for a fee, but I’m unwilling to pay money out of my extremely limited income for advertising, and I don’t feel it is appropriate to use donations to pay advertisers.

So I am here at the crossroads. Three weeks from now I will either have what I need and go into production for the book or I will pay back all donations and cease all advocacy activities in the future.

My potential #crowdfunding tragedy

#ADLfest AZIMUT

Azimut (pron: Azimuth)
Compagnie 111Aurelien Bory with Le Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger

An Australian Premiere exclusive to Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival Theatre
Fri Feb 27 – Sun March 1st

Standing under the stars it is easy to look up and imagine a tall ladder is all you would need to reach their domain. While theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking is telling anyone who will listen that we have possibly two hundred years left on the planet before it no longer sustains us; two hundred years for people to find and colonise another planet, Azimut shows us one way it was once attempted in a spiritual parable about life, longing, satisfaction and death.

The irony is that once out there in the realm of the stars, mankind misses his mother Earth and wants to come home.

This is a universal story that appears in most religions around the world and has become a cornerstone in the tradition of storytelling everywhere; a person is born, they live their life, they ascend to the heavens and then return home.

Sufism has popped up a great deal in the works of Rudyard Kipling and later William Burroughs, probably because it is a highly inspirational form of Islamic Mysticism and involves poetry, music, acrobatics and dancing. You may remember Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner who after “Romancing the Stone” went in search of “The Jewel of the Nile” which turned out to be a person, a Sufi in fact.

Here in the West we have some romantic notions of whirling Sufi’s in high hats and long garments. Images of jugglers, acrobats and dancers who live as if the world was a stage and we were all players upon it; arguably the best and healthiest way to live life.

Sufism is an original philosophy of life and many believe it was the inspiration that led to Islam rather than the other way around. First came the inspiration, the act of joyous worship and then the administrators took control and started with the rules and regulations of our relationship with God.

Okay, you’ve had my nutshell overview of Sufism but what about Azimut?

If I tell you, you will think you know, but you can only know if you experience it yourself.

The production is extraordinary, the Groupe Acrobatique De Tangier do things you have dreamed but not seen in the context of a proscenium arch stage; you’ve seen it in the context of circus and cabaret but never as stripped back and pedestrian as this; pedestrian as in authentic street level NOT dull – this show is anything but dull.

The story elements are universal in terms of watching a search for meaning unfold, but the way the Groupe Acrobatique De Tangier extinguish gravity on stage is awesomely entertaining even though it is essentially a spiritual journey. The tradition of singing and poetry come into play from the start and notions of searching are played out physically over and over in many ways both sophisticated and simple. If you were searching for illumination in the dark it may call for a flashlight.

To defy gravity does require some special effects but for those to work, the level of illumination on stage needs to be quite dim; don’t worry, after a few minutes your eyes adjust and the incredible feats on stage start to appear like a dream in more ways than one.

What I will not tell you is what those feats are because it is not good to be sitting waiting for “the moment when…” with a show like this. You need to be completely open to accept that you are looking at a vast universe outside of the concept of time on the stage; if you can relax and put any preconceived ideas about the show out of your head it will blow your mind.

Now, a warning; do not take any of this too seriously. Sufism requires you to remain innocent and asks you to allow the magic to wash over you without thought. Don’t get worried about following a story or understanding the language. Don’t try and work out how they are doing what they are doing, just gather yourself, relax and allow your emotions to become engaged.

To successfully bring this particular journey to life on a stage is a triumphant feat, the choreographer and ensemble do a magnificent job and we here in Adelaide are extremely lucky to have such a deeply spiritual yet entertaining piece to be enthralled by; particularly at this point in history when ancient works of art are being destroyed by political forces. To have ancient acts of spiritual exploration living breathing and flying on stage is a real gift.

azimut

 

Bookings and more details HERE

#ADLfest AZIMUT