As you'll recall, we watched Part 2 of Lin Htet's dramatic trilogy on Sunday night: Titus Andronicus. For some reason, we're watching Part 1 second. Only four of us Flying Circus Animals managed to make it: most of us had to rest or prepare for presentations tomorrow.

Interestingly, this time, the show was smaller, more intimate, less grandiose: performed on the small stage next to the IFB cafe. It was also a good deal better. Either he learned from feedback in the last show, or else (given that both these pieces have been performed before) he decided to ride on the successes of Part 1: Hamlet and take more risks in Part 2: Titus Andronicus. Am I making sense? Yes I am. You figure it out for yourself.

Here's the setup on stage: an old man is sitting with his feet in a basin of water. A young woman is seated next to him, a skull in her lap, motionlessly weeping. Every now and then, he wipes off his feet, rises before the audience, points to us, and says, "Shi noo? What for?"
Next to them are a young woman and an old woman. The young woman is handing the old woman earthenware pots filled with water. The old woman is smashing them on the ground - hurling, dropping, one at a time, two at a time, three, etc. This is the bit that transfixes the audience: the violence is right there, reminiscent of military atrocities, and kinda dangerous too. (I was sitting in the back row, and I got an earthenware splinter right on my lap.)
Below them, Soe is questioning two activists about Revenge and Forgiveness: the National Reconciliation Process, basically. The answers really aren't very exciting, but they're less banal than in the last edition.
Activist: Our culture teaches us to be religious, and our religion teaches us to forgive and forget. And forgive and forget is a concept that we always discuss. And there are people who agree and people who disagree about these concepts. And when I come across a person who arrests me, I can maybe shake his hand, but I can never forget what happened.    
Meditations on the possibility of building a museum to commemorate the atrocities, comparisons to Rwanda, the fact that there are political prisoners still in jail, waiting for justice. And the Kachin Civil War once again: a remnant of World War Two, still unfinished in the twenty-first century.

Meanwhile, amidst the audience, there's a man with his face wrapped in newspaper, performing odd antics: lighting a baby doll's hair on fire, crumbling prawn crackers between his hands, crawling under chairs, offering me a wet wipe. He also gave me a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Doll (the yellow one), let me hold it up and shot at it with a toy rifle. Later I think he burned this, too.
Rachael: Do you think he’s the ghost?

Me: Then she’s Ophelia. (points to young woman with pots)

Rachael: I thought she was Ophelia. (points to weeping woman) They could both be Ophelia.

Me; Opheliae!

Rachael: Take a photo of the number of people taking photos. It’s bizarre.
The whole thing ended, rather abruptly, after about an hour. Much earlier than expected. The old woman and young woman embraced and everyone bowed.

And since we had the free time, Brett suggested the four of us go over to Shwedagon Pagoda! Awesome idea.
 


Comments

02/28/2013 22:54

I am loving it......... :)

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