(Originally published here)
DDMcG Productions have hit on a winner with this piece: a combination of performance poetry, live-looping and music from two very talented strings players. Accompanied by some incredible comic book style animation, our poet narrator – a performer of great talent and unfathomable stamina – takes us through a series of sequences that explain the life and dreams of a blue-collar worker.
The poetry is insightful, thought-provoking and delivered in an almost hypnotic way. There were some moments where several tracks were looped at once, which meant that hearing the poetry was occasionally difficult, a problem which, hopefully, will be sorted out as their run continues. The moments where the poetry was crystal clear revealed certain truths about contemporary society in a digestible form, the protagonist Victor Spartan alternately living a life of obeisance and dreaming of revolution. In his dreams, he recants stories of (amongst others) rebellious prisoners of war, bullying kids, soldiers that punch their commanders and more, escaping a totalitarian regime through this kind of conjuring.
The recurrent blue-collar theme of “obey, obey, consume”, the backing track to Spartan’s daily life, draws attention to a problem relevant both to him as a “blue-collar worker” and to us as the watchers. It seemed a little ironic that you could buy the CD and the comic book after the show, but you can forgive the company any hypocrisy in the resounding boom of their talent.
All in all, a new and cool way of storytelling, the performers’ talent making for an entertaining evening that gets you to think. The style and format takes a while to get into, but once there you can experience this often funny and particularly political piece that opens your eyes and ears.