– man, no-one was cheering louder than me when you first got laid. No-one. You understand me?

– You’re happy that Belucia and I are having sex.

– Abso-fucking-lutely. But there are some things you can’t – I mean, I’m not a prude, no-one’s a prude, but you can’t talk about it as much as you talk about it.

– I’m not trying to get up anyone’s nose, or anything. It’s just – Belucia and I aren’t inhibited about these things.

– Yeah, fine. That’s good. But I mean, you can’t talk about her like you know everything. Like you’ve solved the mysteries of her sexual nature. You’ve been having sex for – how many weeks?

– Actually, we’ve been having sex – I mean, I don’t want to say how often, but let me just say that I’m – I’m very familiar with Belucia’s sexual nature.

– Yeah, you’re in the sweet zone, that’s for sure. But there are aspects to a woman’s sexual nature that you won’t see for months. Years. It’s like you’ve picked up an Agatha Christie novel and you’re trying to say you’ve figured out the killer when you’re only on page 16. The murder hasn’t happened yet. You’re reading the book, no doubt on that – you’re not just checking out the front cover or skimming the blurb any more. You’re in those pages, and that’s fucking great, dude, I salute you. Just – don’t act like you wrote the fucking thing, that’s just awkward.

– All right, I get it. I’ll tone it down.

– Also, your pet names.

– What do you mean, my pet names?

– Look, every couple has disgusting names for each other. I used to call Lisa Honeybee, and she used to call me Honeycomb. And that was for real, man, there was no joking around. You get into that cuteness zone and your whole fucking system of judgment is turned upside down. That’s fine, that’s all part of it. But you can’t call a girl ‘Cumgoblin’. Ever.

– She’s my little Cumgoblin.

– No, she can’t be. Think of something else. I know she seems cool with it, but trust me. Your first fight is somewhere on the horizon, and I’m telling you now that ‘Cumgoblin’ will be used in that fight as ammunition against you. It might very well be the cum that breaks the goblin’s back. Call her Slutbunny, dude, call her Cherry-pops. Anything.

– You know how I started calling her Cumgoblin?

– I can think of a million reasons. Actually, I can think of one. But that’s fine, I’ll get by with my imagination there.

brothel reviews

The Swelling Factory
I think it’s an excellent innovation for the working girls to serve food when they’re not with a customer, and the cooking was certainly above par. However, my steak sandwich could not have been delivered at a worse time in the proceedings, and I was subsequently unable to achieve climax within my hour. 5 / 10.

Edgar’s Finest
Edgar rose to prominance in prostitution circles in the 1960s, and his boutique in Suboton Lane has long been regarded as one of the finest in the country. Edgar is a pimp in the thoroughly old-fashioned vein, and his mixture of charm, elegance and deadly force was once a highlight of a visit to Edgar’s Finest. Recently, I am sorry to say, this has not been the case. Edgar’s conversion to Christianity was of the bleached-white blazing fiery kind, and it does not mix well with his professional decorum. I was greeted in fine style, with wine and tapas, but when I picked a girl from Edgar’s (still excellent) selection, the brothel’s host roundly cursed me and informed me I would go to hell. Later, mid-way through the consummation of my purpose, Edgar stood at the doorway and read me Biblical passages, in an effort to distract me and save my soul. Although I was able to achieve climax within my hour, I was not completely satisfied, and I fear it is only a matter of time before Edgar’s Finest is little more than an expensive late night restaurant. 3 / 10.

The Flap Palace
The location of this small six-roomer is superb (across the road from Cheltenham Girls’ Catholic School), but unfortunately at the time of my visit was temporarily closed due to a chlamydia epidemic. ? / 10.

Madame Sad’s Opium Den Tattoo Parlour and Brothel
The ladies of Madame Sad’s establishment are famed for their willingness to perform any act, no matter how lewd nor kinky. Yet, when I asked my chosen partner to roll over the bonnet and windscreen of my car in slow motion, she refused, even though my car was stationary in the carpark and even after I patiently explained to her that I would be otherwise unable to climax within my hour. 2 / 10.

sickness in the dark

After many months, I have finally uploaded my Dahl / Tolkien / Welch / ID Software / Finig mix Sickness in the Dark.

Originally created for the Best of the Slams Poetry Evening at the Front Cafe in Nov 2007, Sickness starts with the Grand High Witch’s opening lines in Roald Dahl’s The Witches, moves through The Hobbit (Bilbo and Gollum’s battle of wits under the Misty Mountains) and a number of original fragments before finishing with Beat Poet Lew Welch’s I Saw Myself, written just prior to his nervous breakdown in 1956.

The doors – are they chained and bolted?

you may remove your gloves! you may remove your shoes! you may remove your wigs! remove your wigs and get some fresh air into your spotty scalps!

witches of england! witches of england! miserable witches! useless lazy witches! feeble fribbling witches! you are a heap of idle good for nothing worms!

I am having my breakfast this morning and I am looking out the window at the beach, and what am I seeing? I am asking you, what am I seeing? I am seeing a repulsive sight! I am seeing hundreds, I am seeing thousands of rotten repulsive little children playing on the sand! it is putting me right off my food! Why have you not got rid of them? Why have you not rubbed them all out, these filthy smelly children?

I am asking you why?

Read Sickness in the Dark, or if you’d like you may download an extract of the performance here: blind – the grand high witch.mp3 (5:24, live Nov 2007 at Front Cafe)

Fleur Elise Noble / Tom Hall at BF08 Under The Radar

So while Bohemian was touring Brisbane as part of Brisbane Festival’s Under The Radar program, we got to experience plenty of art, ranging from the awe-inspiring to the woeful – the so woeful that it makes me shiver in awkward embarrassment at the thought of it. Oh, shitty art; nearly a week and I’m still depressed that I saw you.

Meanwhile, at the far end of the Awesome spectrum was Under The Radar‘s double-bill of Fleur Elise Noble‘s Work-in-Progress and Tom Hall‘s Sight Beyond. Work-in-Progress was basically the highlight of our trip, or at least of mine. It is beyond my powers to adequately describe the show coherently or briefly (that said, the convoluted accompanying essay on Noble’s website suggests I am not alone), so I won’t try. If I can convey some few impressions, that’s fine.

Work-in-Progress took place in the Metro Arts Warehouse, an airy, wood-floored studio on the building’s fourth floor. The audience found themselves seats along two of the four walls, looking inward at the mounds and drifts of torn white paper piled about the space. These scrap paper objects served as screens for various projectors, which began projecting stop-motion black and white animations featuring Fleur and a small cadre of puppets.

Noble‘s Work-in-Progress characters look like 1900s deckchair attendants / forensic photographers

The brilliance of the piece was in not the puppets or the puppeteering; the cast of shadowy and morose puppets were well designed and constructed and the animation was not too jarring or rushed. The narrative content of these sequences was nothing exceptional, with many scenes structured around a puppet or Noble breaking in to or out of an artwork. What lifted Work-in-Progress into the realm of the extraordinary was the execution – so fucking stylish.

What I mean by that is that every single scene – every transition from scene to scene – had been exhaustively thought out and workshopped with attention to detail and a dazzling creativity. Every sequence crackled with extra touches – from the tilting of the handheld paper screens to warp the projected character’s head, to the masterfully executed intrusion of an electrician midway through the performance. Noble had clearly mapped this out in such detail that I was half convinced the eight-year-old behind me was an audience plant instructed to act disarmingly naive and bewildered.

Even Noble’s austere sound and colour palette (black and white projections and a soundtrack of footsteps and tearing paper) revealed surprises. As a climactic fire rages out of control, the glorious orange and red consumes all of the screens and the roar of flames surges through the speakers. Finally, the cute but anti-climactic anticlimax did the show no favours, but could not erase the awesomeness of the fire spectacle from my mind. Seriously. Superb.

Then down five flights of stairs to the Metro Arts basement – we lay on cushions for Tom Hall‘s soundscape / animation performance Sight Beyond. This is far easier to categorise and far less easy to wax lyrical about than Work-in-Progress – it was an electronic soundscape built from low creaking drones and slow whirring sirens, and it was accompanied by abstract patterns in a rich flood of green, yellow and red. Two electric fans on faders stirred the fabric screen in accompaniment to Hall’s work, which oozed and roiled on a peaceful and satisfying journey. It’s a style I enjoy and it was well done – but it also benefited from its placing opposite Work-in-Progress. The colourful, oozing sludge of Hall’s performance was the perfect come-down after Noble’s scratchy, paper-shredding minimalism.

Tom Hall’s Sight Beyond. Image by Bryan Spencer, taken from Hall’s website.

Also, adding to my pleasure during Sight Beyond were the two old ladies nearby me who had clearly no experience with or love for this style of performance. ‘They call this electronic music, do they? Hmm…’ There’s nothing like whingeing grannies to soothe the aches and pains right out of me.

post – Gifted and Talented’ at BF08 Under The Radar

So, my picks from Bohemian’s recent tour to Brisbane as part of the Brisbane Festival’s Under The Radar fringe program. The first wondrous highlight was performing the last ever season of Bohemian’s A Prisoner’s Dilemma. After two years and ten public seasons, we are just about done with that piece, and Under The Radar allowed us to farewell the show in style. At 7.30pm, Sunday 27 July, we washed the last of the blood and sweat off our singlets, took a revolver and put the old girl out of her misery. So long, play.

Having taken care of our own show, we were free to check out what else Under The Radar had on offer. post are a Sydney ensemble, and their Gifted and Talented performance generated more debate and discussion between Jack, Mick and myself than any other performance or artwork in my memory. Starting with an intense physical theatre sequence, the show suddenly segues to a dance tournament for ages 8-10 and the performers transform into a trio of soccer mums, discussing tactics to motivate their daughters to dance harder. For 35 minutes they swig cans of Solo, smoke cigarettes, guzzle sausage pies and gradually reveal the extend of their brutal and abusive treatment of their daughters.
The dialogue between the mothers is fast-paced and well delivered, with some brilliant (and savage) one-liners. The highlight for me was the daughters’ (offstage) dance routine, to the tune of Melissa Tkautz singing “Do to me what your eyes say you want to do“, while the mothers desperately try to coach and direct their girls from the back row. Horrible pop music boils away while the mothers get so entranced that their vapid masks crumble, and they begin to writhe and grind in slow-motion ecstacy.

Gifted and Talented – image from post’s website

When the cracks first begin to appear in the characters’ facade of pleasantness, they are unexpected and unsettling. Sudden silences, a spontaneous moment of viciousness towards one of the trio by the other two, an awkward pants-wetting moment… At last the chatter devolves into a laundry list of the abuses suffered by prisoners at Abu Ghraib, at which point the performers calmly and methodically strip naked, pull their shirts over their head and stand in a line facing the rear wall.

There are some phenomenal ideas in this work, and they’re carried off with such skill and sharpness that any slips stand in stark contrast. For the three of us, the conclusion was that slip. After the stunning intro and skilfully woven setting and characters, the Abu Ghraib tableau was a comparitively predictable and melodramatic climax.

Any shock the image might have evoked was negated by the snail’s pace with which it was created. Even then, the tableau could have carried more weight and significance by its length. After several minutes of stillness and silence, I began to be intrigued – how far were they going to push this? But then instead of drawing it out until it was genuinely unbearable, the scene was suddenly halted; the performers donned leotards and finished with a comic dance routine to the tune of Guns and Roses ‘Sweet Child of Mine’. It was cute – don’t get me wrong, it was fucking hilarious – but it washed away any impact that the show might have had. Was it a conscious decision of post‘s to give the audience an out like that? I assume it was, and I’m curious as to why that choice was made.

Gifted and Talented – image from post’s website

That’s pretty fucking negative, so let me re-iterate that the only reason I felt so let down by the ending was that I was so hyped up by the rest of it. These guys are rad, and they’re performing in Newcastle as part of This Is Not Art this October. I am excited.

Next most awesome tour highlight: many many hours spent playing Sid Meier’s Colonization.