Sunday, May 11, 2014

banksy: the room in the elephant

If facebook is to believed, it seems that most of my friends were glued to the television last night watching the Eurovision Song Contest (personally, I avoid this stuff like the plague… but accept that I am the exception and probably a grumpy one at that!). Well, as a welcome alternative to the ESC, Moira+I, plus another full house, were at the Tobacco Factory Theatre to see Tom Wainwright’s play “Banksy: The Room in the Elephant”.
This is the scenario (a true story): Banksy was in LA for the Oscars when he sprayed ‘THIS LOOKS A BIT LIKE AN ELEPHANT’ on an old water tank. The tank was residence for a local legend, Tachowa Covington, who over seven years had furnished it with carpets, a stove – even CCTV. As news spread of Banksy’s latest work, a consortium of art dealers soon appeared to repossess the water tank. Suddenly, Tachowa was homeless again…
This one-man show features Gary Beadle - apparently he used to be in Eastenders… but then I wouldn’t know that, would I (because I’m a grumpy old bloke…) – who was completely brilliant!
Fascinatingly, the play was being performed as part of a double-bill, with Hal Samples’ film “Something From Nothing” (using a patchwork of material gathered over seven years – including, rather weirdly, footage of the play being performed on the Edinburgh Fringe!).
Really impressive, funny, sad and thought-provoking (a story telling a story about itself, telling a story about itself).
A brilliant, stimulating evening.
PS: The publicity given to the Banksy artwork (“Mobile Lovers”) that appeared in the doorway of the cash-strapped boys’ club seems only to have underlined the play’s poignancy.

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