A couple of months ago, I was invited by the Melbourne Writers’ Festival to host a couple of post-show Q&As for their theatre series ‘Staged’. I was absolutely thrilled. I hadn’t been back in Melbourne since December 2016 and on August 26th 2018, I took on the role of a Q&A chairperson for the first time.
We are no different from dragonflies. With their tiny transparent wings flapping at 30 beats per second, these creatures travel thousands of kilometers to reproduce, to find a new home, to fight for their survival. This is what Pangdemonium’s Dragonflies alludes to: like dragonflies, our existence is dependent on long-distance migration. From the nomadic homo erectus to our forefathers arriving on distant shores, human beings share this animalistic drive to seek out greener pastures.
Dragonflies begins four years in the future, in a post-Brexit United Kingdom where xenophobia is rampant. It reads like a Nigel Farage wet dream – all non-British citizens no longer have the right to own property and are forced to return to their home countries. Despite having made England his home for thirty years, Singaporean citizen Leslie Chen (Adrian Pang), finds himself back in Singapore. He is greeted by a country that is equally hostile and brimming with racial tension.
From time to time, I round up some things that have caught my eye:
- When God closes a Kanye, he opens a Childish Gambino
- A 19-year-old Ukrainian boy in America is adopted by a couple with no kids, changes his age, enrols in the local high school and then has a day named after him by the mayor. Then things get dark.
- Chitra Ramaswamy: We can hold Junot Díaz to account – while still empathising with him
- The Guardian ends contract with critic Lyn Gardner after 23 years
- Malaysia reborn? Does GE14 spell an end to racial politics?
- Why Singapore was chosen as the host of the Trump-Kim Jung Un summit: “…don’t think of this meeting between Pyongyang and Washington as just a political meeting. Think of it as a business negotiation, led by two of the biggest deal-makers on the global political scene right now – with Singapore playing the role of arbitrator, and a glamorous host.”
- “They are like teletubbies on the moon”: Astronauts tripping and falling over on the moon
It begins with a tick. Then a tock. Faster than a working clock, more like a hyped up metronome. Or maybe more like the beat of a heart falling in love – fast, rushed, on adrenaline.
OCD Love starts with a hushed, ticking percussion as Rebecca Hytting performs a solo dance of angular limbs and arched backs. She is singular yet uncertain, a fitting beginning for a piece that leans into the obsessive and compulsive.