Review: THE GAME
As Sylvia the Sheep kissed my identity papers I foolishly thought I was onto a winning thing. Lost in the Enclave of Ichor for the past two hours I had become a victim of a cruel and fundamentalist society whipped into a schizophrenic frenzy of love and suspicion by their megalomaniac leader, Zog.
Just as in 'real' life the key to survival lay in mastering the bureaucracy and accumulating "sploogs" (money). This was harder than initially thought for this market driven reporter who found himself being led like a common thief to jail.
After a few minutes staring at the large eyeball on the TV screen and listening to the claustrophobic person clawing at the bamboo bars beside me I contemplated bribery.
But it was not to be as soon our sorry carcasses were hauled in front of a judge, looking like Morticia but with a temperament similar to a thorny rose bush.
As we listed our crimes - being a member of the PCPP, trying to find the bureaucracy, for playing with a man's balls - my indiscretion of not queing in the right place seemed minimal by comparison.
Justice was to be miscarried - I told you this Game wasn't ficticious - and it was off to the insane asylum. Here, numerous pyjama-clad loonies called 'Michael' made small talk about life and electrodes before the good Doctor accepted our sploogs and it was off to rejoin the rat race.
The Game is the creation of John Hudson, a man whose mind is as warped as his haircut. He has created a maze of dingy tunnels that brings to life Orwell's 1984 with a 90's slant towards political greed and spiritual purity. While Theatresports may have broken down some audience barriers Hudson's Game provides us with the ultimate interactive opportunity to shed our conformist skins and relive the fantasy world of our childhoods.
There's lots of queues, bomb scares, schisters, charlatans, megalomaniacs, and general weirdness. Then, just after you have psyched yourself up and found a suitable partner, there's "Breeding Duty". Fortunately they recognised a romance made in hell and my partner (Duncan Cole) and I were spare the unenviable task of demonstrating our breeding ability.
The point - or pointlessness - of every-thing is power. The smart money was on Silvia at 4 to 1 while those with a dress sense equal to their IQ were looking towards Valadimair for salvation. I carefully studied the odds while Duncan, camera at ease, was swindled by two players in need of lessons in how to apply their shoe polish.
In what will be known as the most hideous upset since the rigging of the 1929 World Series Zag, Zog's daughter, won with a 51 vote majority. As a sign of fidelity we all sung "la la la here comes Miss Enclosure", got teary eyed and went home; but not before Christchurch's own Mark DeCarlo put on the best performance in front of the crowd happily quaffing from the bar. Whoever you are, you were brilliant!
For those who missed The Game fear not, Zog promises further reincarnations that are bigger and better than ever. While part of me thinks Christchurch is privileged to have a creative force like John Hudson amongst its populace, my rationale tells me it's time to buy a gun.
Review: THEATRE OF THE MIND (copy 1)
FROM ACROSS the Realms of Time and Space, the Federation of Ichor is calling you to be Tested. Face the Challenges of Compassion, Courage, Reason and Patience and you will rise through the ranks of the Enclave to the level of the Most High.
An alien culture has taken over Whangarei in a weird and wonderful mix of theatresports, role-play, improvisation and participation drama. Over 30 actors have built their own society, complete with a security force (the dreaded Floaters), gambling den (the Ladies of the Dice) and mutant sheep people of the Outlands (the Baarred).
The audience - known as the Inlanders - moves through the different installations of the Enclave trying to work their way to the top of the hierarchy. In the process they're given false clues by the Asylum inmates, arrested by the Floaters, and told to fill out form after form by the officious Bureaucrats. It means no two people share the same experiences, and makes a fascinating departure from traditional theatre concepts.
The Living Treasures Game is part of the Forum North Youth Theatre festival? Which annually brings a variety of theatre to Whangarei.