Letters from Ljubliana: A Theatrical Blogger Speaks – Thursday

[Written for Noises Off at the National Student Drama Festival 2009.]

Smell me! It is the musk of importance, for I am Andrzwej Haidonsk reporting from the National Slovenian Post-Drama Festival here in Ljubliana, where the women are women, the men are moose, and the moose are post-dramatic. Hey, boys! They are! They stand doing nothing but lowing. What is lowing? I don’t know! I heard it in a Christmas carol!

All the talk at this year’s NSPDF is about characters. There are, we can all agree, far too many of them. We must have many fewer characters and replace them with concrete slabs or breezy blocks. In one of the plays the other day, I almost cared about a character in it, and I want this not to happen again. My friend Pyotr once accidentally fell in love with a character in a play and tried to marry it, but then the actor who played her was all like “Um, no!” and Pyotr was all like weepy weep. He then killed a dog with diabetes by feeding it too much chocolate. It’s true! This is why post-drama is best. No characters.

The first play we saw today was Me & My Friend.. This was in a coffee shop in town, not a theatre, which is the sort of fricked-up shit that we do in the post theatre world.. When I arrived, I saw my friend Pyotr there. He had a brown sack by his feet. I called out to him “Pyotr! What are you doing in this play?” and he said, “This is not a play, I have just planned to meet you. It is a meeting for friendly social reasons.”

I was excited by this. But I wondered what was in the sack. This made the meeting not post-dramatic.

“What is in the sack, my friend Pyotr? And how did you get our coffee meeting in the NSPDF programme?”

“Well,” said Pyotr, “have a look in the sack.”

“I do not want to, Pyotr. To look inside the sack would create a dramatic situation which I, as a fan or big fan of post-drama, would find not good.”

“Look inside the sack,” said Pyotr.

“I do not want to, Pyotr. You have put this event in the brochure of the NSPDF. I cannot be involved in any drama. Leave me alone, Pyotr. Leave me alone,” I said, in my calmest voice, so to avoid any drama at all, and ran from the coffee shop.

I did not want to look in the sack. It would have been another dog. Although if I think of a dog in that bag, it creates drama in my head, and that is the last place I want it!

I ran from the coffee shop to burst into the installation piece The Last Yak. A cow was tethered to a steel post. It has two party hats on its head in the place of horns. A painted sign reads “Yak”. I am guessing this is the last yak in the world, or the title would be meaningless.

A man then came in and said, “This is the last yak in the world. Because of a simple virus, the yaks are dying. And now, they have called me, a veterinarian doctor, who will cure the yak with simple antibiotics. However, the antibiotics are on a train and shall soon arrive. I hope they do before the yak dies.”

A nurse then came in and said, “The antibiotics are on their way, but there is a delay on the train and the antibiotics may arrive later than expected.”

The man then said, “Well they had better hurry up. Unless this yak gets antibiotics in the next 90 minutes, it will surely die!”

They then waited for the antibiotics, but I left soon after. I was shaken up like a can of Tab Clear because of my interactions with Pyotr, but also… “The Last Yak” had characters in it who I had empathy with, a plot that would be resolved in the course of the play, and drama! Stinking drama!

What has happened to this post-drama festival?!

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