The show must go on...
IT has included faked orgasms in the shower, a Butoh dance set in a simulated Tokyo disco, and a woman who falls in love with a fish. For Lindsey McAlister, Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival director and theatre reviewer for RTHK, the 1996 Fringe Festival has also included her worst experience in more than a decade of theatre-going.
As McAlister describes it, this week's one-night-only show Burn Baby Burn began with a blurred slide projected onto the back wall, a poetry recital, and the slow dancing of Edith Stephens (who had flown in from New York for the occasion).
Stephens had been classically trained in America when she was a teenager - the trouble is that this was more than 60 years ago, and the performance was, well, at best painful to watch. The show almost ended when the reader, poet Graham Lockey, who had been roped in at the last minute, came to the lines 'Shall we go on, or shall we stop.' At this point both Lockey and the members of the audience who were still awake collapsed in not-so-smothered laughter. Stephens was apparently quite oblivious, and her only direct contact with the audience involved approaching a chap in the front row for which the whole Fringe experience had become just too exhausting, and whacking him awake with a rolled up newspaper.