2009 theater

Without taking the time to look, I’m not sure I’ve ever done an end-of-year best-of list for performances I’ve seen. Actually, judging from my cynicism alone, I suspect if indeed I ever have done such a thing, it was at Chinese New Year.

Not to worry, I saw not much in 2009, but luckily it was almost easily split between “ow! that hurts” awful and “uuuhh…” sliding off the chair with joy. Only two pieces don’t quite make it into either absolutist subset, and one of those, Jan Fabre’s Orgy of Tolerance wouldn’t have been mentioned at all if it weren’t for my thinking about the other, quite close to brilliant but also somewhat flawed No Dice from Nature Theater of Oklahoma – also the longest show I saw, at four hours. Both were exceptional pieces of theatre, and despite whatever qualifications I have about them, that I still think over what I saw gives them a place here.

Dasniya Sommer started off the year with MA√ 15 { IDIOSYNCRASY } || SIN X = LY – FX²¯, which I didn’t see. Strange it made it to the list then. Well, through my involvement with Dasniya on several projects revolving around her website I got to see this piece in many guises and as with many pieces that made this list, if I liked them enough to want to be in it, of course it should be here.

SOIT and Hans van den Broek were worth traveling to Brussels for, to see We Was Them. Of course again I am biased, having played in the Viennese Settlement with them in summer, 2008. Still, who cares? Astute and memorable theatre from someone who should be seen more.

Two from Ivo Dimchev, then. What does it say that most of the performances I found beguiling this year are from friends? Michael said, quoting Tilda, that you should make performance with your friends, because they’re the ones who have the biggest influence on you, who you hold in highest esteem, who have the closest affinity to you.

Lili Handel is an old piece, performed now some 200 times, and that many times Ivo has sold his blood. beautiful, dark, deranged theatre. The other, and last for they year, made by Ivo for Christian Bakalov whom I saw in Orgy of Tolerance is Paris.

All these I works I adore, and when I have my own festival shall make them first on the programme.


Cycling home in -5º or so on a rather broken bike, I remembered another piece I didn’t see but saw video of and was rather taken by. Yes, it is a festival of my friends. Daniel Jaber’s WG Spiel deserves a mention here also.