I must confess that I was bit of a Smiths fan in my youth. I remember purchasing the Japanese import EP on compact disc (yes I am that old) of the classic ‘This Charming Man’ and spending a whole weekend listening to every version on a loop. To this day I could still convince myself of retreating to a commune to ponder on the significance of the lyric “Why pamper life’s complexities when the leather runs smooth on the passenger seat”. I am not sure why I feel the need to confess, after all The Smiths and Morrissey are critically acclaimed. Yet, it is exactly that sentiment that Gary McNair so wonderfully taps into in his one man show ‘Letters to Morrissey’ at HOME.
Regular readers of Caught in the Act will no doubt know of my guilty pleasure of musicals. I love a good song and dance, I do. However, the story of young Pippin and his quest to find meaning and purpose to life must have passed me by. It may not rank amongst the classics in my songbook, but a bit of digging and I’m astonished to learn that it has more than a bit of theatrical stature.
There has been an increase in the number of suicides over the past twelve months. I know this because my local Samaritans group had a stall at my local train station, trying to make people aware of how many deaths occur through people taking their own lives. By some strange quirk of fate that very evening, I ‘appen to watch Vinay Patel’s Free Fall at the offbeat 53Two theatre, which focuses much of it’s story on the plight of a troubled woman who sees no way out other than jumping off the nearest bridge.
The arts have often been used as a medium to raise the awareness of issues that perhaps go unnoticed by the majority of those in society. Often a silent minority within our communities that deal with day to day pressures that you and I perhaps take for granted. The more intimate the story that is told in relation to the issue, the more we feel the need to empathize, not just on a personal level, but also from a political and social standpoint.
I can close my eyes and still hear the baseline thumping, the monotonous sounds that accompany the spoken words, unrelenting, one after the other, delivered with ferocious ferocity at a speed that makes my brain struggle to keep up. It is incessant, persistent, unremitting, unyielding, remorseless, an undercurrent of words, sounds and light that is continually pushing me deeper under water, and as I come up for air, I am dragged back down, drowning in the myriad that is this bewildering concoction from Kieran Hurley. Heads Up.