Saturday, April 5, 2008

Alive and well despite hiatus in posting

By Tracy

It's ages since we've posted. Work, travel, family commitments... I need to start making shorter, more regular entries.

Electrical storms permitting, since we've had a few of those, including today.

Speaking of electrical storms, and the man once referred to as the "magnetic hurricane" -- last month we went to see a local production of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. It was done by Yellow Glass Theatre Company at the Subiaco Arts Centre, and was much better than I expected, given that some of the English translations are weak, or if not weak, just not Brel.

The cast were terrific, though -- just the right kind of energy, and a dynamic contrast in voices. Well staged, and with a piano accompaniment that really let the material stand out.

The political thrust of some of the songs did not, however, stand out -- the anti-military or anti-war stance -- which was a shame. It was almost as if their import had not been absorbed by those involved.

But it was a good night out, and an appropriate way to mark 30 years since Brel's death.

Speaking of which, the city of Cannes is making him Man of the Year 2008 and having a special celebration over a few days this (northern) summer, with all sorts of things going on, including a writing competition (in French) and a quiz.

Our preschooler and I have been watching lots of old Brel footage on DVD, and it's quite addictive. A little Brel gets me through the day -- disturbing when you think he once dismissed what he did as more or less "aspirin" for the public, three minutes at a time.

(But not forgotten by all of us...)

I recently wrote a poem about watching these Brel performances, which is being published in Jacket. My way of marking those 30 years...

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