Response: Black Confetti
Response: Black Confetti
Black Confetti was hard for me to watch, and so this is hard for me to write, not because I didn’t like or appreciate the play - I was completely bound to the story, I was swept away by the blackness of it - but it took me three days to get free again.
There is brilliant acting, a clever set, witty words and an absorbing story to be found in Black Confetti, but there is very little light in it. So although I highly recommend that you go along and see this crazy, twisted, voodoo play, I also feel obliged to warn you that there are some incredibly uncomfortable moments in it. Some writhe-in-your-chair moments, some moments in which you might feel inclined to giggle out loud at the sheer weirdness. Disclaimer.
When I first read about Black Confetti and heard that it was a newly commissioned work by the fresh gen Y voice of Eli Kent, I immediately believed that I’d identify with it. I think it illustrates how privileged and golden my life has been that I didn’t really identify with it at all.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some familiar moments:
The music (more bass than melody), the disorientation and the loss of self that sometimes occurs late on a Saturday night after too much searching (for what? Who knows). The brave face Siggy wore throughout – we all know that one quite well I think. The guilt that comes with knowingly doing the wrong thing. The emptiness of an existence without direction or purpose. The pattern of those damaging conversations you sometimes have with old friends and family; subtle little word battles you play out for no other reason than because you’ve had them time and time again.
Yes, I identified with more things about this play in hindsight than I did while caught in its midst, and I think that is definitely part of Black Confetti’s magic, because once the horror and darkness and strangeness wore off, I was left with something quite redemptive.
There were plenty of moments that I didn’t recognise at all, and they were all the more horrible because of their alienness. The loneliness and isolation that those remaining in a tattered family feel. Addiction, I don’t get that (unless we're talking addiction to facebook, or Narnia). Baron Saturday. I really don’t want to know anything at all about him, thank you very much.
I found tears resting sneakily on my eyelashes at times during Black Confetti; particularly during scenes featuring Elvis and Katie – they were easy favourites because they were the only two characters who found something real to smile about. I was glued to the story because it was a mystery that I wanted solved. I was glued to the dialogue because it was quick and clever and there were little gems hiding in it that would jump out further along the story's path, and I’d get a little shiver of satisfaction when I recognised them.
In short, I don’t think I would go to Black Confetti again, only because I’m too weak to put myself through that twice (after seeing it I had a horrible dream that my twin sister died in my arms, and I blame Eli Kent and director Andrew Foster completely.) But I’m glad I saw it, because in the three days since I haven’t forgotten it at all. It had an effect on me.
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