only the living speak

I still smell a bit like the witches, their blood and smoke and sharp perfume, like the sweat of the actor who held me more confidently than many of my serious past relationships, like murder and love and despair and the body swinging from the noose.

At one point I jumped an entire flight of stairs to keep up with The Detective, (Malcolm? Lord Duncan’s son?), only realizing in mid-air, knees automatically tucked, that perhaps what I was doing was foolish, what with the dislocated bones in my ankle, the sprained ligament in my spine. No matter that he just did it, he’s trained, looks like ballet. What am I doing? Too late, too bad, I landed perfectly, slammed into the wall and rebounded, leaping half the next flight, again, impeccably done, the better to run, the better to keep track of the plot, the story, the dark and haunting dream meticulously building inside the McKittrick Hotel. Sometimes you just have to sprint. And when, after I tore up the stairs after him after he was poisoned in the ballroom, as we sat panting on the floor of his office together, when he met my eyes, I almost smiled invisibly behind my mask, but instead I winked.

I was rewarded with a one of the rare and coveted one-on-one sessions, pulled firmly from the audience in the back of his auguromancy office, where the walls are covered in birds, into one of the locked areas, a long darkened room just off of the main street. Once the door was shut behind us, he pulled me to him as as a lover might, pushing my body with his in the darkness, close and incredibly, impossibly intimate. I had thought my time before with the green witch, who put her fingers in my mouth in the closet then tore me through the false back through a Narnia hallway full of fur coats, was familiar, but in comparison to how he held me, it was nothing.

He placed me like a ball jointed doll, manipulating my body with his body, pulling my arms back, trapping me against him so that every possible inch of us touched, and then swept aside a black velvet curtain that we’d been invisibly facing in the pitch dark. It might as well been a magic trick. In front of us was a very tiny room, just barely big enough for both of us, with a dim light shining on a small metal box sat on a very tiny table. We leaned down, still glued together, his unexpectedly powerful dancer’s body keeping me in place, and he opened the box to reveal five pale eggs nestled in straw. Shifting me to his side, as if I were conspiring with him, he then added an egg from his office to the box and ran his fingers over them, murmuring secrets and small pieces of not-quite-shakespeare. After the crowded office, the manic ballroom, it felt like we were the only people alive.

A beat, then another, until we were breathing together, before he chose one of the eggs and carefully placed it in my hand, closing my fingers around it as if it was precious, so gently I was actually shocked, then smashed it, cracking it completely into dust with the strength of his fingers around mine. My hand was suddenly full of ashes, thick and chalky. He forced them into my palm, roughly rubbing them in all the way up my wrist, reading the lines, the black streaks of carbon writing a map of my life. Suddenly a tiger, he brought me to my feet again, picking me bodily off the floor, and pushed me into the wall with his hips, ripping my mask upwards and off my face. “Who are you?”, he demanded, shoving, pulling at my hair, running a hand over my face, holding a massive magnifying glass only inches away from my eyes. I stayed silent, uncertain if I should speak, but then the moment shifted and again it was if we were lovers, and he pressed himself into me, lifting me off my feet, shifting me to another wall, and we held each other so closely, so tightly that it seemed real. I felt necessary, as if I wasn’t there, he would break. The intimacy was almost unbearable.

Then, another shock, the light flicked off, dropping us again into complete darkness. He fell a little, away from me, coughing, barely choking out his lines, clutching at me as his body wracked in agony. It was my turn to hold us up, until finally he spat up a tiny wet feather which he pressed into my hand. When the light came up again, but even softer, more dimly, he said, “The hawk was seen flying at dawn.” He fiercely pressed us into the wall again. I felt exposed by his need. We might as well have been naked. “Do you understand?” I nodded. “And blood demands blood.” His lines were the words that he’d typed on his locked down typewriter only two scenes ago. “Blood will have blood.”

HIVE2: you should go


“11 local companies perform 11 separate pieces in continuous rotation. Brace yourself for a carnival side-show, a piece of toy drama, a post-modern slice of faux dinner theatre … or different combinations of all that and more. The audience’s experience is entirely self-directed, and there’s always a lounge for shouting and a central party space to buzz the night away.”

Single Tickets $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

A large, bee-centric room full of unexpected props – an upside down dollhouse on a post, a knotted rope hanging in a false spotlight, a cardboard honeycomb laid out on the floor, a bucket full of flags – and rows of tables facing a large stage. There is a bar on the right and a vast projection of text flashing over top images of the downtown east side to the left. Girls in angelic paper costumes walk past, followed by a prison guard in army fatigues shouting to get out of the way of two blindfolded prisoners led on a rope. Commissioned by the Magnetic North Theatre Festival and created by eleven of Vancouver’s most interesting theater companies, welcome to the delicious chaos that is HIVE2, the dramatic sequel to last year’s super sold-out HIVE.

Armed only with an orange slip of paper, a list of dubious instructions like Stand In The Honeycomb, Find The Christmas Tree, and Fill Out An Application Form at the Desk, the game is to see how many performances can be seen in a night. (There’s even a dedication rating scale on the back of the instruction sheet). The space is divided into two basic areas, the social room themed with bees, and the vast, confusing, enchanting, and very non-linear performance stages on the Other Side Of The Door. To get to one from the other, simply follow instructions and wait for a guide. Every odd, quirky instruction is connected to a different show. Every odd, quirky show is a completely different experience.

Last night David and I, (having been recruited as volunteers for opening night by Felix Culpa’s David Bloom), managed to see seven of the eleven shows in the hour and fourty minutes before our bar shift, (possibly breaking some sort of record).

Here are my two-second, no spoiler reviews: Felix Culpa trapped us in a sweet, lyrical world of creation and cardboard; Theater Replacement made us wait at a Christmas Tree, mocked how we think of internet comments, and gave us jelly-beans; Electric Company, (David’s favourite), righteously play-ed with dada, french doors, and incredible lines of perspective; Radix put us in an assembly line, (where I stole an orange. My tip? Make sure you’re first into the room); Boca Del Lupo was ambient, relaxing, and not a little scary; and Leaky Heaven Circus made us take off our shoes so as to not damage the mirrors that played with our heads.

“Warning: Smoke, nudity, foul language and gunshots are all within the realm of possibility… Or none of the above.”

Which leaves neworldtheatre, The Only Animal, Rumble Productions, Theatre Conspiracy and Victoria’s Theatre SKAM, all of which look interesting. neworldtheatre reputedly gives out cookies, The Only Animal show, (possibly with visuals by freaking Jamie Griffiths!), has an audience size of only one, awarding them the most intriguing, followed closely by Theatre Conspiracy, who only take thirty-five a night, two at a time and dressed as blindfolded Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the Rumble Productions or the Theater SKAM shows, except the former seems to have dead zealots for guides and SKAM collects its audience with creepy dolls.

Guess I’ll find out about them on Saturday. When my mother asked what I would like for my birthday, I replied, “I’d like some tickets to HIVE2.” It is, as the kids say these days, sweet.

a message from Heart of the World

Whichever way you look at it, losing is really hard to take. Even harder than dealing with losing is breaking the news to people. You shared our dream and held our hand as we ran for all we were worth toward the stage. It’s amazing the amount of momentum that built up in such a short space of time. But here it is. We didn’t get it.

On October the 5th someone else bought the theatre.

We failed you and we’re sorry. We had some major investors bail on us and despite all the wonderful donations from you fine people; in the end we just could not get enough money in time.

What happens now is that we honour our promise to you, that in the event of us failing to buy the theatre “the money goes back to the people”. Due to the large number of donations we received it will take some time to get through them all, so please be patient.

We’d just like to say again, and believe us we can’t say this enough; we’re eternally grateful for all your support. You believed and tried to spark some wonder back into the world. You scrimped and you saved and you sacrificed and if that wasn’t enough you then told your friends about us and made them do the same. Despite the fact we didn’t get to where we wanted to be you are all still awesome, you’re all kisses and butterflies and we love you.

Fringe Fest, Thursday Sept 6th

Everyone’s favourite games-designer, James Everett, is back in town from home-sweet-home Montreal. To celebrate, I’m dragging him and as many of you as can fit into a sack to an intense night of delicious theatre on Thursday!

Yes, duckies, it’s Fringe Fest time again. Ready up your wallets and prepare to laugh.

To start, I’m thinking a piquant bit of circus, Chris Murdoch‘s first gem, The Absurdessy. (on facebook) If Brian Froud wants to see it, so should you. I did a pinch of costume design for this one, but I haven’t seen even a rehearsal. I’m looking forward to it. Grady Orchard is apparently involved somehow too. 7:30 at the amphitheater.

As a main course, Jacques Lalonde, Paul Armstrong, and Mackenzie Gray are serving up The Kenny Rogers Experience. (on facebook) Everyone involved smirks when they talk about it, so it must be good. As a bonus, Brain Barry, (somehow), is starring in it as the ghost of Jimi Hendrix. 8:45pm at the Waterfront Theatre.

For dessert, Theatre Bagger presents Apa Kabar!. I never miss a show of theirs if I can help it. What they do with masks is supremely magical. Also, hey, Tom Jones. Rock. 11:00pm at Carousel Theatre.

Tickets up for grabs now!!

(x-posted from Duncan’s journal)

It’s that time of year again.

Boca Del Lupo is putting on another show. Last year, in Stanley Park, they performed the slavic fairy tale, The Shoes That Danced Themselves To Pieces. The cast was on ropes and pulleys and flew from tree to tree. The audience was led from site to site through the woods. The whole experience was magical.

In the Spring, they performed a Winterruption piece down in Granville Island about condominium apartment living. It was a wonderful idea and a pleasure to behold.

This August, they’re performing this lovely piece of work from August the 10th to the 25th on Squamish Reserve #6 underneath the Burrard Street Bridge near the Civic Marina. It’s FREE but you NEED TO RESERVE TICKETS. Opening night is already sold out.

Or The Bell Ringer of Our Lady of Peace

To celebrate its 10th anniversary season, Boca del Lupo will produce its fifth free, outdoor, all-ages roving spectacular this summer. With the generous support of Vancouver Opera, the Squamish Nation and a multi-talented cast and crew, Boca del Lupo will delight audiences with an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame de Paris set amongst the high foundational arches that support the Burrard Street Bridge.  

The show is free but group sizes are limited and while we do take walk-ups, advance bookings are strongly advised.   The best way to reserve a spot is to click on ->BOOK NOW<-, select a date, and fill out the required information. If you prefer the phone, please call 604.684.2622. Public bookings are available at 12:00pm on Wednesday July 11th, 2007.

First published over 150 years ago, Hugo’s story is just as pertinent today.  With the recent Paris riots and the latest transgression of sanctuary to arrest an Iranian refugee from Vancouver’s own St. Michael’s Anglican Church, issues of immigration as they relate to civil rights and class are more relevant than ever.

It’s going to be great and I highly, highly recommend you all come out and see it at least once but ->BOOK NOW<-! Tickets went on sale ->TODAY<- and they’re already selling out. Remember, it’s ->FREE<- and ->AWESOME<-!!

Thank you. Spread the word. It’d be a shame to miss this great piece of Vancouver outdoor creativity. It needs to be encouraged.

EDIT: I have reserved 6 tickets for Wednesday, August 15 at 7pm.

wish I heard his voice more often

BABIES AS WEAPONS is the most twisted thing you will see today, even if you’re a regular at ModBlog. It’s the inelegant site of XenoSapien, a man in the States who believes he is “suffering from deep feminist-culture side-effects.” I hope he never discovers gifs, as the flame motif is bad enough already. (Warning: for reasons unknown he plays inappropriate music very loudly). The front page has a pencil sketch named MyPain of a woman dressed as a stripper about to whip a prostrate man with a baby that’s still attached to her by an umbilical cord that snakes from between her legs. For added wtf, the diapered baby seems to be angrily shouting into a microphone. The entire thing gives me the quesy feeling he watches Wicker Man and touches himself on Friday nights.

  • “NASA can no longer afford the future.”
  • Plans for making a Jacob’s Ladder from readily available parts.

    Today has been full of unexpected phone calls, disco light moments, when the blare of music fades into almost silence at the exact moment you see her face. Theatre people, friends, night and day. Someone’s finally read my pen written letters, public transit edited. A long distance shout from an ex-lover, three defeated countries away, sunburned voice peeling across the lines, unexpected and welcome and a little puzzling. I love him, but why now? Little mirrors refracting light, circling in the room. Another chrome ring, pick-up-the-phone – a potential investor, in town from Memphis, surprise, someone I’ve been considering handing the project off to once I get it up on its feet and properly connected to my city. (We all know I want to leave.) I’m cancelling my plans this evening so as to see him.

    Just as a reminder: Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo opens tomorrow at The Western Front. Further details here. I’m going, are you? Especially quick comments have a chance at a comp.

  • FYI: Van-flakiness alert!

    Seemingly at the Very Last Minute, Boca Del Lupo has pulled out from their show at FUSE tonight. As a result, I am not going.

    Nor is Duncan and Gerald couldn’t make it anyway. So there. (FUSE will be notably less full of tall people by their absence). Sorry if anyone else was planning on finding me there. Instead, Silva and I are going to go to Locus through Michael‘s good graces. (Which should cheer him up too).

    I’ll very likely be available for other shenanigans later in the evening. If you want to get ahold of me, I suggest leaving a message either here or on my phone. Rumour says there’s a house-party.

    we could build a comfier version

    “Who’s got the ball…I’ve got the ball..”.

    In a bit of a gravestone triumph, I’ve got reliable work in the week upcoming, but only because a friend’s mother has caught thick with cancer and, as she flies north to take care, her absence creates empty shifts at the Dance Centre. I’m going to be spending next Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings there. Time will go by slowly. Visitors with, say, cupcakes, juice, bags of frozen vegetables, cheesecake or turkey sandwiches and especially delicious books will be met with especially slavering open arms. Bonus points for [CENSORED-edt] with red.

    More on Baudrillard.

    For those who like philosophy, there are two plays coming you should take a gander at, (not to, if you have a goose you want to abandon somewhere, I suggest my freezer. furthering the thought I should have scrounged more food earlier):

    Kyle! As! Miami Vice!

    Our resident Official Thinker-Person, Michael, is going to see Socrates on Trial, March 14th at 7:30, at the Chan Center. Tickets are $12, $5 for students. It’s a short run, only two nights, with a talk-back after the show on Thursday. Tickets can be bought at the door, unless you’re a keener, in which case you deserve the woes of Ticketmaster. Go with my blessing. I’m not going to be there, not being much a fan of Socrates, but Michael will be and he is cute and single. Kyle (as seen on the left) will also be going, but he is less single, so not as much a draw, though he does recite dirty poetry about otherkin dragons furries and in return for taking nice pictures of him, he’ll write horrible plageristic things about you and chocolate pudding in Mike McGee’s voice. He’s a dear. Honest. We’re only at war when the dessert supplies run low.

    The second play is Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo, running March 29th to April 14th, at The Western Front. Tickets are $20, $15 on discount, $10 on 2-for-1 Tuesday. Mimi is stage manager, our friend Peter New is in the lead, and Sam‘s playing, um, something with a slightly pretentious title that I don’t actually have the power to recall right now. Needless to say, it’s got a good tag-line: He showed us the universe. The church showed him the rack. Despite the cost, I’m going to try and lure someone into going with me on Tuesday. Peter is always clever, and Sam, well, I haven’t seen Sam act in anything in the last year other than films about creepy black and white priests. In fact, I may have only ever seen him play priests*, so perhaps a different sort of cleric will be a breath of fresh air. (This role may not be that different, but suffice to say, I do not expect they have him singing with a kids toy or a crucifix-in-the-eye scene).

    Than is dreamed of in your philosophy…

    *I lie, I think he was a skinny opera singer in Lady of the Camillas.


    Burrow is staying with me this weekend. (She just got a new XKCD t-shirt and it being super squealy happy about it). 2 o’clock tomorrow we’re going down to Suspended, Boca Del Lupo’s WinterRuption show at Granville island with Nicole and Duncan.

    At four, she’ll be playing bike-polo at Grandview Park, and then we’re going to SinCity in the evening with Wayne.

    You are invited to any and all of these things. (Bike polo, obviously, requires a bicycle.)