It took a while to come around to this new show/thing. (It’s too early to know if it’ll actually be a show.) It’s a piece though, a piece of work.
I was gonna have a new project called SHTGZ THTR. (You have to supply your own vowels.) The idea came from watching one of Columbus’s so-called “shitgaze” bands. The band was called Times New Viking. It was not the first time I saw them, but it was the last. It was their farewell (for now) show.
This band played 26 songs, and they announced it. “We’ve got 26 songs for you. Here we go.” Boom. They played a song. It was fast, short, direct. “One down, 25 to go.” Boom, another one. “Two down, 24 to go.” And so on. They didn’t keep track after every song. In fact, they probably forgot about it after a while. But every song was short and direct. No frills at all. No drama, even. They weren’t songs about being songs, there was no commentary. It was just sound in that room in that time. No superficial action.
It reminded me of the Dogme 95 movement, which was meant to strip the bullshit out of films and film-making. And I was trying to figure out what it would be to do that in theatre. What, I asked, were the essential elements of the Times New Viking performance that made it so energized, so inspired?
There’s a lesson here and I hope I can remember it.