Bork told me yesterday that I am her most eclectic friend, and I chose to take that as a compliment. We had been talking about our respective plans for this weekend and I was prattling on, as I'm wont to do, about theater tickets, pre-show parties, football games, post-game drinks, that sort of thing.
And so it was last night that I went along to my first ever absurdist show. It was called "Hamlet Stooged" and it was put on by an Australian theater company. I didn't know anything about absurdist theater as a genre and, admittedly, I still don't. I am sad to say that I didn't understand the play at all. Perhaps that was the point?
Now I love Shakespeare but I'm not a purist about it. I will happily watch Shakespeare as a musical, or modern spins on the plays, or even Hollywood's adaptations. And Hamlet is one of my favourite plays. We studied it in my last year of high school, so clearly all of us could relate to the indecisive Danish prince. Not from the perspective of a father-ghost, homicidal step-dad, nutjob girlfriend, and sleazy mother. Rather Hamlet was having to make brave, life-altering decisions in the face of very real adversity. What path should he take in life? And why can't you just procrastinate about these things? If anyone wanted to have a perpetual 'doona day', it was Hamlet.
But the theater company last night, while rhyming some clever verses together with modern day language, the show was just silly. It didn't make sense - it didn't follow the story, and most of the characters were just completely absent. I tried to appreciate it as a standalone work but even that was hard. I suspect that I just didn't enjoy it. Maybe if I wasn't sitting in the middle of the row, I would have walked out - who knows.
Absurdist theater is not something I will go and see again but at least I can say I've done it now, right?