Monday, 5 May 2014

Kata Fulop responding to Domestic Labour, A Study in Love by 30 Bird

Domestic Labour: A Study in Love, the 30 bird Productions’ visual theatre peace, welcomed the packed Cambridge Junction’s audience with a series of beautiful images. “How cool” screamed my inner voice as the three actresses posed with vacuum cleaners as heavy war weapons. The text, voiced by the actresses and a recording of a man, recalled things being left behind and ordered, just to be left behind again and to be ordered again. It was so clever, so beautifully structured. I fancied the first staccato repetitions looping the three women and the vacuum cleaners together to tell us a story of love. Then, just as my thoughts started to emerge from their world to consider my lack of love for cleaning and washing, I was struck by the cleverly engineered bike meets vacuum cleaner, freedom meets girl image. However, as the dust particles settled, image by image, loop by loop the show gained a laborious quality.

Why so laborious? Let me say that I do not see theatre as purely a form of entertainment, and I am willing to work.  Yet the show was a first draft of a study: a rather clever attempt crammed with masses of academic theory trying to do too much.  The Iranian revolution, material culture and feminism, technology and feminism, domestic labour, women’s roles, a love story were all themes that seemingly cried for my brain’s attention. In this quest, I missed that men’s relationship to feminism were crucial part of the study and that there was no apparent war being waged.  It is a pity, I would have loved to know more about a man’s perspective. All in all, the show for me was a beautifully wrapped but unfinished study which confirmed my endless fascination with war stories.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kata - really sorry it's taken me so long to get here - this is full of lovely thoughts and very concisely conveys how crammed the show was with ideas. I missed, however, a level of detail - I'd have been really interested in reading you describe the show a bit more. I find it basically impossible to think about who my reader is when I'm writing; mostly I end up talking to a version of myself who wants to remember the show. So I feel a bit weird recommending that you think about someone reading this who maybe hasn't or won't see the show: what will they glean from your writing about the show's specific textures, the performance style, scenes that were particularly vivid on stage? I love the description of the women posing with vacuum cleaners as heavy war weapons - it would be lovely to read more of that. But this is basically me greedily saying "write more"! Concision is also a skill, difficult to learn; at this length, often it makes sense to talk less in the first person; that said, your qualifier "I am willing to work" is a useful one. I hope in turn this is useful feedback! And I look forward to seeing what you write next. All very best, maddy