Ze Peeg Ees Blind

The Blind Pig. Sat June 26, QL2 Theatre, Gorman House
by Claudia Caton

The Blind Pig immediately had two things going for it – the timing, that of the partial lunar eclipse, which put on a good show, and the setting of that particular venue.  I’ve always loved the feel of that approach from the “gate keepers” down the stairs, looking down to the foyer, which in this case was almost the main stage of the event.  Here were sets of lounges where people milled; Min Mae had a peep booth where volunteers were encouraged to be ‘victims’ of sumptuous fondling while other audience members peeped through holes cut in the surrounding draped cloth.  Various beverages were being sold, but none as sumptuously as the absinthe.  This was served by a well-moustached gentleman – almost a circus director – armed with a lavish antique water fountain which mixed the liquor.  At $8 a pop, I was sad to have a fresh one knocked over into a plant while watching the lunar entertainment outside, until the door folk pointed out one that had been abandoned on their bench and would I like it?… That’s probably how I achieved a sudden skill in speaking hieroglyphics later on… but not before enjoying the dancing girls assimilating with the crowd, including Fifi Noir and her very adept belly dancing isolations.

In the theatre space itself was the band Little Sister.  This is cheating, I know, but their style is probably best described by themselves on their myspace site:  ‘Little Sister are cheeky, a bit glamorous and most certainly up to something. Their eclectic style incorporates quirky pop, tinged with 1940s swing, strong rhythms, and some colourful blues and soul, thrown in for fun. Formed in 2008, the band features singer/lyricist Ellen Kimball, whose distinctive vocal style has been described as ‘part Frente, part soul sister.’ Little Sister also features Alex Carder on keys, and Tim Bowyer on trumpet who share a background in Cuban, and jazz music’.  There was also a double bass in this incarnation… or was that with the violin in the lounge?  There weren’t a whole lot of people dancing to Little Sister which was a pity.  They were almost a minor sideshow, like the magnificent strongman also in the theatre who looked born to the part and challenged all comers to thumb wrestles.  To the tiny number of onlookers at the time, all were surprised when one punter actually beat him in a vigorous contest.  It may reflect profound shallowness, but the strongman was a favourite for me.

Among other entertainments were a non-competing chocolate wheel and a puppet show which I did not stay long enough near to comment on content.  I may be missing something, but clearly it was a feast of side shows… but what was the main event?

This all sounds like fab-o fun: the acts were, each in their own right, just grand and the audience were enthusiastically participatory, but somehow the end result left me a bit hollow.  Perhaps it needed an overarching thread, or a kick-ass all-in finale, or just a loud, whacky band to finish off instead of just petering out and leaving us in the very literal cold.  However, for $10 a head, a great deal of effort, imagination and fun was delivered.

Comments are closed.