In This Day and Stage: Fringe-Watching Sprint 2020 (chapter 2)

In This Day and Stage: Fringe-Watching Sprint 2020 is a blog section dedicated to our Admin & Marketing Intern. Intoxicated by her love for theatre (and the possibility to have free tickets for CPT shows), she is embarking on a quest to see seventeen SPRINT shows in three weeks. Will she succumb to the pressure (or the COVID19)? Only one way to find out!

In This Day and Stage: Fringe-Watching Sprint 2020

Chapter 2

On Monday evening, after spending the day between university, the tube, and work (Coronavirus, bring it on), I stuck around at Camden People’s Theatre. My friend Anja was to come with me. This happened:

Greta, 13:55
Hello hon! Remember last time at CPT you were late and therefore left out? It’s 7.15 tonight, aim to arrive by 7 x
[I’m for tough love]

Anja, 15:01
I’m gonna be on time 😎😎😎😎

Anja, 18:49
If I arrive at all, it’ll be miraculous
#Sincerely

Apart from the evident fact that my friend doesn’t know how to use hashtags, the fact that she eventually arrived late and missed Sarah made me think about expectations.

While I was sitting in the audience, watching the three performers creating a fake woman to be interpreted by a real woman pretending to be fake (yep. It’s an actual thing that happens on subscription-based websites for “sexy chats and more, *wink*”), I wondered: what the ACTUAL FUCK? We have expectations on ourselves, on others, on things we want to be different, on situations we wish stayed the same.
For example, I expected my friend Anja to be punctual this time (a girl likes to dream). She expected her train not to be delayed. The audience expected the woman next to me to be one of them – and they shivered in horror when the performers sectioned her, commenting her body, her dress, asking her to remove her glasses, her ring, leaving her exposed.

This is what I learnt from Sarah: in creating the perfect woman, there’s a fundamental impasse:

  • ‘true’ women are not appealing enough to merit a monetary subscription, BUT
  • server-generated conversations are not ‘human’ enough, so they don’t attract subscribers.

No need for me to point out that this concept is fucked up.

Later, in her marvellous Ellipsis, Isabelle Farah explained how somehow you’re expected to cope with grief without showing you’re aching: this isn’t just bullshit, but also intrinsically contradictory: of course, in 2020, is perfectly acceptable to go and see your office counsellor, IF you want to be seen as the company’s freak.
We advocate for reality, but not a ‘real’ reality, because that’s too ugly.
We reject what’s conceptually ‘fake’, then we embrace it but it isn’t like the real thing. It seduces us for a moment and afterwards makes us feel like perfect imbeciles – and that’s exactly what we are.

We pretend, all the time. Isabelle wasn’t pretending, though, and that’s why I loved Ellipsis so much: it was funny, cathartic, and left me in tears (because I still haven’t the slightest idea how to cope with loss, even if I’ve had many chances to practice).

I’m a supporter of true authenticity: there’s something amazing in being able to see another human being’s vulnerability (and I DON’T mean that sadistically). Truth is, we’re all so imperfect and fragile, and there’s strength in that. If we could sustain instead than hinder each other, we’d risk reaching human decency!

Bottom line: STOP TO BE FUCKING ASSHOLES. Pretty please?

About the blogger

Greta is a woman of many talents and few hopes. Her interest in theatre sparked when she was six years old and, from that moment, she hasn’t been able to stop loving the stage, backstage, box office, dressing rooms and all that jazz (!). When she’s not working as Admin & Marketing Intern at Camden People’s Theatre, you will find her obsessing over her dissertation (she is about to graduate in Drama, Theatre & Performance at the University of Roehampton) or chairing Students’ Union’s meetings. Already very, VERY, old inside, Greta doesn’t appear to have a social life. Or perhaps she’s just keeping it hidden…

LinkedIn: Greta Zaltieri