This envelope is adapted to survive and reproduce in the jungle. It is an eye catching yellow and red, divided into sections: priority delivery in one, in another, an outline of a jet plane. There are two small boxes next to winner authenticated, and look, the "yes" one has been printed with a tick it it. In another section, a warning that I have a deadline before which to collect my prize.
All of these adaptations are geared toward the opening of this letter by an individual of my species. Thousands are scattered like seed pods in letterboxes all down my street, and will succeed with a few.
Not me though. I will not be fooled by such basic tricks: wings that look like eyes, harmless snakes disguised as venomous ones, sentimental music in films, artificial perfumes, this envelope.
Though I'll never know unless I check...
Who dares wins: Marc Ellis cuts off a woman’s ponytail for $50, gets her quick before she realises quite what’s happening. She's a grandmother, and goes quiet and looks genuinely horrified at what has happened, like she's been done by confidence trickster. This operation looks legitimate- there's camera, celebrity and consent- but isn't shaving off a woman’s hair a pretty traditional way of destroying her? Ellis, (upbeat, matey, looking desperate) pounces before she changes her mind. Snip, snip...
'Who's Neat? You!' is Happy, Healthy You's latest children's mis-education show, taking place during the 2010 New Zealand Fringe Festival.
Its on a bus. Its about puberty. Yes, yes, you there!
Few of you, I think, will even be aware of the passing on January 1st of one of theatre and performance art's most underappreciated geniuses. I'm of course a long time admirer of Wyszchi, so I thought I’d set myself the (daunting) task of listing the works of his which have inspired and touched me the most. So in no particular order:
-His series of Shakespearean "Absence Plays" in which the lead character (or characters as in his Romeo and Juliet (1972)), were removed, meaning that there were extended pauses where the text of their soliloquies "should" be. This cycle reached its artistic zenith with his Hamlet (1981) in which all the speaking roles were excised save for Horatio, who played his part as normal through the four hour play despite having lines in only seven scenes. Audience response was mixed, but Wyszchi countered that they didn't understand the production's "singular, troubling poignancy and cost effectiveness."
-His The Vanishing! trilogy (1973-76) explored in depth the philosophical question, familiar to all rehearsing actors, of where wallets, letters, swords, and other imaginary props "come from" during rehearsal, and where they "go" once given to other actors in the scene while blocking. He effectively asked: "when we, as actors and human beings engaged in imagined acts, give each other imagined pet rabbits onstage, and then release them because in five lines time we have to hug each other and we obviously can't have anything in our hands, where do those rabbits go, and isn't it time we paid attention to them?"
-After the painful break-up of his marriage to Julia Wyszchi following her decade-long affair with another man, he immediate cast them all in a three hour piece consisting entirely of the three of them on stage, being awkward and making tea for one another. Critics praised it as "quite uncomfortable."
He is of course most famous to the public for his year-long full- immersion projects, which included:
-spending all of 1969 on public transport using a single daytripper.
-Living the entire of 1970 darwinistically.
-In 1990 he didn't speak all year and, flattered by repeated calls for an encore, repeated the work three more times. The New York Times called it "a breath of fresh air".
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