I know many people who consider theatre to be a bit kak; I also know people who take sadness way too seriously, these are seldom the same people.
But I’ve experienced enough non suicidal art fagery to know that equating theatre with pure misery is an over reaction. It could be that I only really attend theatre involving comedians that I have this lingering semi for it or perhaps that I am, in fact, an art fag myself.
I’m not entirely sure what frames the genre of dark comedy. Do you just say fuck more than five times and involve blood whilst peppering the whole affair with jokes? I suppose it’s the act of involving taboo premises for light hearted effect. I don’t know for sure, but Pigs definitely is a dark comedy. Laughing while people get murdered may seem dislodged from a state of mental health, but it’s Oscar Wilde who said, “If you’re going to tell people the truth, you had better make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” It seems like it’s a them or me impasse, of sorts, and who wants to get killed? Especially while the weather is so lovely.
The idea that people have to be depressed to digest the truth has to be one of the most tedious ideas I’ve tried (and failed) to cope with. Irreverence and significance can be the best of friends. Cue this play. Their masterful blend of disgusting perspective and hilarity is so utterly unboring.
Thumbing through my coffee stained journals, the ones meant just for me, where I talk to myself about beautiful possibilities and scribble without fear of judgement, always leaves me more alive. Mostly because it’s a continuous monologue premised on my search for meaning. Every now and then I encounter a piece of work that does that for an entire group of people. A collective journal entry that, though often abstract, details and behaves like a private one. Ministering to a collective psyche can’t be easy. It requires an empathy and maturity I’ll never attain to; not just because I don’t respect or even like the idea, but rather because it takes a lot of effort to care that deeply about a nation’s inner world. See, I’m just projecting here, but the norm is that I can only really write excellent comedy about things I feel deeply about. These men have written something very funny about a national tragedy, they’ve invested themselves, ever so empathetically, in a problem outside of themselves. A thing our middle class condition seems rather allergic too.
Now, the fact that they’ve done it is impressive, the fact that they’ve done it while being exceedingly funny borders on genius. Add sincerity to all that effort and we have lift off.
Bravo lady & gentlemen, you’re being very sexy.
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