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3rd instalment of Salzburg

February 19, 2009

we are now onto the 2nd day of the festival and a familiar show – My House – from scotland created and performed by Andy Manley.  I had already seen this show in Edinburgh at Imaginate in May 2008 – and really loved it at least as much as Astrid!  It was great to see it again with an Austrian audience – who reacted v similarly to the Scottish one!  Giggling, answering, jaw dropped stare – fully and delightfully engaged!  This show used no words, other than ‘mein haus’ – lucky Andy who couldn’t speak german!  it didn’t stop one girl from saying ‘hallo!!!’ a number of times until she gave up that this funny man wasn’t going to speak to her – look yes, but speak no!  the children had an obvious love of Andy from the beginning and really engaged with the play with the ‘water melon’ as a character – just by simply placing a bobble hat on it.  When asked how he came up with the idea for this, Andy said, ‘I wanted to use something that was the same size as my head!  And a water melon seemed to do the trick!’  His humble and v straightforward manner was equally engaging for parents alike.  he has one of those special qualities of an adult who hasn’t lost sight of his child. Not in a childish way but in the most profound and playful way.  I think it would be impossible not to engage with him as performer!

there was also much more humour in this piece with a beautiful naivity and acceptance of the artefacts around him in the same way that children adopt the objects around them to play their games – however incongruous!  I think you can probably pick up that i loved this show.  afterwards the children are invited to join Andy for a picnic of fruit – in Scotland is was water melon but here it was grapes!  The theme of ‘opening yourself’ up, linking himself to ‘his house’ was redolent of those first friendships children make when they open themselves up to new relationships outside the ‘home’.  it is so simple but profound and as such the children could genuinely engage with all the material.  Having ‘opened’ himself out, Andy is joined by his new frineds – the audience – for whom he has some bobble hats!  they are also allowed to play in his house and many children copied some of the action they had seen Andy do, ie pretend there is a lift behind the house – disappear and reappear.  they also played with some of his props and recreated moments in the show.  We were treated to a 2nd show, watching the children play!

So in many ways, seeing this show, reaffirmed my belief that special performers can make v special relationships with children through a performance, and when this happens and serves the content of the show – you end up with a v special show indeed!

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One comment

  1. Thanks Natasha, thats a really informative write up and i would like to see these shows myself.
    Im very excited about going to Bologna and wish you were coming too. Good luck with your new show!



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