Journal

Troubleyn's Orgy of Tolerance May 15, 2009

by Tania Kupczak

I had not quite registered the image onstage until I heard, "Sometimes this is just the more modern way of doing things." The cast was onstage warming up in their underwear and sports socks. Someone else responded, "Oh, now I see why everyone is sitting so close." I was sitting in front of an older couple and their friends who were seemingly out for a nice night of art/theatre. The piece began and launched into a masturbation competition. I’m fairly certain that they didn’t know what they were in for and I very was happy that they came. I'm not sure they were.

It is worth noting the absolute fearlessness of the performers. I don’t mean fearless like, "I did a lot of trust falls and I’m so fearless." I mean fearless like, "I'm going to take off all my clothes and fuck myself in the ass with this automatic rifle while I talk to you." It is also worth noting the design. The lighting by Jan Dekeyser/Fabre was stunning. This is the kind of work that my well educated, open-minded parents would hate, so naturally I’m drawn in. I understand why they would hate it (and I’m guessing the nice people sitting behind me did hate it).

This is the type of work that is so often done horribly, that can easily retreat to shock value without a point. Maybe I have gotten so jaded that a guy flipping his dick though bicycle spokes isn’t really shocking to me, but what I saw was well crafted, intelligent, committed, and fucking brave. It was also self-important and self-indulgent, which usually pisses me off and it would be a disaster without Fabre’s smart self-aware humor. It saves the piece from becoming the kind of work that has something to prove. This was something different. This was rock and roll. More GG Allin than the Beatles, but still rock and roll.

- Ben Zamora

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