PuSh Blog

PuSh 2010 Curatorial Statement: The Show Must Go On

January 04, 2010

By PuSh Festival Senior Curator Sherrie Johnson

My anticipation and excitement for The Show Must Go On is palpable. I have to confess I saw this show twice when I traveled to the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival to first see it – a very unusual practice for a busy curator who is trying to see as many shows as possible in a condensed period of time. If I could go to The Show Must Go On every evening in Vancouver, I would. In fact, in twenty years, it’s the first time in my life a show has struck such a chord with me that actually want to be a performer in the show!

Jerome Bel’s work has renewed my own commitment to my practice and re-established my faith in the power of performance. As an audience member participating in the evening, I was completely amazed by the transformation that occurred throughout the ninety minutes. To see a show affect an audience with such wonder and surprise night after night is a gift. This show requires you to be present and open – and is really about the clear and simple connection between the audience and the community on stage. The ingenuity, discipline, cleverness, honesty and minimalism of this piece certainly deserves the praise and attention heaped upon Mr. Bel for reinvigorating a performance movement. The Show Must Go On is a highlight for the 2010 PuSh Festival and if you haven’t already booked your tickets, you better do so quickly. The word of mouth on this show is sure to make it a hot ticket and you really don’t want to miss it!

The Show Must Go On is part of the 2010 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and is presented with SFU Woodward’s and The Dance Centre. Jan 20-23, 2010 at 8:00pm, The Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, SFU. Click here for full details.

One comment:

  1. The main concept of the piece seemed to me to be the question of who is performer and who is audience. Perhaps to get the audience to question themselves as “audience”. While there were some great moments that came from the performers I felt the show greatly lacked content.

    I am a circus performer and in the circus the engagement of the performer with the audience is a powerful, though common and ancient practice. Most of the show appeared to me like a sad clown act beating a joke to death. Challenging for the sake of challenging seems quite childish and maybe I missed something but I felt let down and even mocked by this show. Well thats anti-theater for you. At least I reacted though.

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