peteg's blog

Version 1.0: The Table of Knowledge

/noise/theatre | Link

I bought a ticket to this Saturday matinee at the Carriageworks ages ago, when I was optimistic that I'd get stuff finished by mid-March. As it is I'm strung out on caffeine and lack of sleep (due to the excessive hours of the nearby construction works and not, unfortunately, on my part) and wondering if I'll ever get it in the can.

This was my first trip back to the theatre in about six months, since the couldn't-possibly-fail Summer of the 17th Doll at Belvoir. Structurally this is an hour show spread over about 1h 20min with an interval. There's the usual Version 1.0 multimedia schtick but they struggle to fill expansive Bay 20 at the Carriageworks with it despite the pews being packed.

The story tells itself: Wollongong Council (and as they emphasise, many others including Randwick) has been corrupted by the building development process. This is the "sex for development" tale that has dried up over the past few years, as the multitude of charges suggested by ICAC fail to stick. It's a fantastic story of corruption at the lowest levels of government, which have a lot of power but are typically ignored by the media, perhaps due to the lack of glam; this is not the "theatre for ugly people" recounted by Crabb et al.

This production is quite strong in the first half with David Williams spouting all sorts of polished bullshit, and the other actors some unbelievable tosh. Yes, the gambit is to hang the original players with their own words, and the set is used quite well to illustrate the development plans and ICAC proceedings. It flags somewhat later in the second half as we get a static Beth Morgan on the stand (ouch) for too long. Up to then movement was a welcome reprieve between torrents of intense verbiage (skillfully assembled, etc.). It would've been a blast to see it somewhere more on its scale, small, brutal and ludicrous. The old Performance Space on Cleveland Street where I saw Version 1.0 for the first time would have been perfect.

Rudyard Kipling: Kim

/noise/books | Link

I figured I'd try reading some eBooks on the iPod Touch, as it is easy enough to get free content from Project Gutenberg into Apple's iBooks application, and the latter is not too clunky for the most part; the screen is so small that any decent text blows out to 800+ "pages". The integrated dictionary was quite useful to, especially as I started out thinking that Lahore was on the coast.

In any case I'd been meaning to read Kim for so long I can't remember why. It's a playful romp through colonial (pre-partition) India, about a white kid who goes sufficiently native to attract the interest of the colonial regime in the "Great Game" they play against Russia for control of Asia west of China. According to the fount of all knowledge, Nehru rated it his favourite novel. Rudyard Kipling got the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907, so early and so young; a reactionary opening of the doors by the committee, I guess.

Here Kipling seems to endorse India in all its messiness, and perhaps also the colonial regime insofar as it gives the white man access to the subcontinent and furnishes the story with the ever-attractive gloss of spycraft. I don't think he condescends to the natives here, but what would I know.

/noise/beach/2011-2012 | Link

Early evening paddle at Gordons Bay. Not too many people around and the days sure are getting short. The water was cooler than I remembered from last month... Some young blokes were out fishing on one of the tinnies, and I was shocked at the lack of canines.