In This Day and Stage: Fringe-Watching Sprint 2020 (chapter 3)

In This Day and Stage: Fringe-Watching Sprint 2020 is our new blog series by Greta Zaltieri, our Admin & Marketing Intern. Intoxicated by her love for theatre (and the possibility to have free tickets for CPT shows), she embarked on a quest to see seventeen SPRINT shows in three weeks – but unfortunately, her mission had to be put on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency. However, just because CPT is closed, it doesn’t mean that she can’t review the shows she has seen, and also open up a larger conversation about the beauty of theatre and the challenges that we all have to face in this difficult time. Stay tuned and follow Greta as she learns how to adjust to this new normality, and the huge role that theatre can play in overcoming even the hardest challenges.

In This Day and Stage: Fringe-Watching Sprint 2020

Chapter 3

Hello again!

I am writing this blogpost from my living room and not from the foyer of CPT, a bittersweet experience: ultimately, COVID-19 (that, actually, was featured as a special, even if undesired, guest in both my previous posts) has caught up with the UK, and we find ourselves facing an unprecedented crisis. Is it too soon to joke about it? Probably. Will this keep me from doing it? Not in one hundred lifetimes.

In times like this, there are obvious leitmotifs that MUST play in our lives (e.g. solidarity! Do you remember that in my last post I’ve asked you not to be assholes, pretty please? Well, DON’T, because we’re all in the same boat, and I don’t want to have to go around bloody London by foot because you petty fools have decided to buy all the toilet paper you can fit in your ass. Thanks 😊).

However, the one thing I really value when the world goes crazy, and the thing that occurred to me aften watching Lionman and Money Funny Sunny, is the importance of perspective. Sometimes, our limited vision can be turned upside down, if we only remember to tilt our heads the other way.

Entering the theatre before Lionman was almost a mystical experience: I was catapulted in an extremely suggestive atmosphere – think a bedroom covered in papers, an old tv, a puppet cat with eyes glowing in the dark. And, cocooned under the sheets, a man. You know when you know you’re gonna like a show just from the setting? This was the case with Lionman, a darkly funny, poetic tale that felt very old and very new at the same time. I was a spectator of that tale, no doubts about it: a witness of Leonard’s illusions, disillusions – a timeless being, watching the story for the first time in an eternal loop. Being able to entertain without doing it mindlessly is a unique gift: I am grateful that Lionman was one of the last shows I’ve seen before self-isolation, as it left me with a vivid reason of why I love the theatre.

In the half-an-hour between the two shows, the setting wasn’t the only thing to change: my role shifted. When I entered the theatre again for Money Funny Sunny, I wasn’t just a witness anymore. I was an international artist in the UK post-Brexit, listening to the unjust, appalling experience of two of my colleagues and feeling victim & tormenter, unlucky & privileged, aware of certain things but so uninformed about others. Money Funny Sunny, as my last show at CPT before the closure, left me with the awareness of how much we still have to learn, how much we have to do and to undo in order to live better together.

This is relevant right here, right now, and it’s what I hope for us all: let’s learn to live together. At a safe distance of min. 2 meters, of course, but still…

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. No updates on her social life yet – stay tuned 👀

LinkedIn: Greta Zaltieri