The Black Rider

There was no update yesterday as I went to the theatre in London. Kate, Kate’s parents and I went to see The Black Rider. I thought it was quite stunningly godawful. Everybody else enjoyed it very much, for reasons totally beyond my comprehension, but if you had offered to cut off my testicles at the interval, send them in in my place and let me go home, I’d have accepted. As it happens, there was a ticket mix-up and during the break we were moved from circle seats down to the stalls. This was a good thing, as having a large drop to my left whilst enduring this madness was waaaay too tempting. It was a patronising, childish, pretentious grotesque. Will Self’s Teletubbies. An ode to nonsensical self indulgent whimsy. You can probably guess what I spent most of the second act thinking up.

It doesn’t help that it literally was a grotesque. People in white face-paint making silly expressions, walking like John Cleese on LSD and speaking in voices that fluctuated between falsetto, shriek, gargle and warble from one syllable to the next. This is a style that I’ve never ‘got’. The rest of the audience tittered as the main character made baby-noises and hopped across stage, pausing and turning to stare at the enraptured hundreds at every step. The dialogue consisted of really bad rhyming, the aforementioned wailing, and bizarrely, a five-minute speech that was then repeated directly afterwards. I didn’t and still don’t get it.

As I said, everyone else enjoyed it. I’m probably just a philistine who didn’t understand the depth, hidden meaning and inherent irony. I’m not ungrateful for the invitation – to know what you like it helps to know what you don’t like. And it wasn’t actually the worst thing I’ve ever seen. The (actually) farcical interpretation of A Comedy of Errors I saw with my college english class gets that honour, although only because Black Rider’s second act was mercifully short.