“Faultless”

Call me strange, but being at law school doesn’t excite me. To those of you who aren’t pursuing a legal education let me tell you that there are peeps who find this business intriguing and enthralling, the pursuit of cases, the cleverness of reasoning, the predictions for the future as technology changes and the law tries to keep up. There’s nothing wrong with that, but for me, no dice. (I promise I’ll get more positive in a second).

I have been living a fairly dull existence recently, in a circle of school, eat, exercise, sleep but on Friday, I finally saw something that made me sit right up and pay attention, something that broke through the haze that only friends have been able to stir up in the last few weeks.

And, no prizes for guessing, it was a play. The Intricate Art of Actually Caring by Bruce Mason playwright of the year, Eli Kent, was on at Downstage theatre in Wellington last week and it was (now I know I often exaggerate, but I’m not this time) the best performance I’ve ever seen by kiwis. The premise was simple, two 21 year-old lads (a wanna-be poet and a wanna-be actor, played by the author and his mate) take a road trip after the death of a friend and the realisation that life is going nowhere, to the town of Jerusalem, James K. Baxter (famous NZ poet)’s place of rest. The dialogue was witty and the places familiar – not just the physical places, the dingy bars of Courtenay Place and the valley of the North Island, but the places the characters were in are familiar too, getting stuck in a rut of life when there’s so much proper living to be had. The direction was seamless, the props and use of them, minimalist and clever, the two actors were maximised in playing all the other characters by virtue of OHT projections (retro cool right?). It was hilarious and the audience laughed all the way through, until the end when the right note was hit and the sold out house fell silent. Apart from the raucous applause, this silence stayed with my friend and I as the audience started to fill out. In true “me” fashion, I broke it with a “fuuuuuuuuuuuck me that’s the way to do it eh? CS summed it up when he said, “That was faultless” and it was.

Now I’ve met both these lads a couple of years ago, (drunk at a party albeit, where I gushed praise on them, cringe!), and it was so brilliant to see young, talented people doing something exciting and interesting, to see something original and so very very thought-provoking.

When was the last time something made you really sit up and take notice? My fear is, that despite all the boundless opportunities we all have these days, it doesn’t happen enough.

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