Ici c’est pas confortable

By NikitaNemygin, July 21, 2014

“Half Past Nowhere” by Anna Kornilova with Greta Matuseviciute. That night was the night I fell in loveI fell in love with the girl who was bleeding.

Blood was everywhere in the room, I think she even spilled some on me. And then she died, right there and I was watching and could not look away and longed for her to carry on her agony.

The girl’s name was Barbara and she was bleeding with Bukowski. It was for a show, of course, but no show in my life seemed so real and explicit as “Half Past Nowhere” conceived by Anna Kornilova with Greta Matuseviciute as Barbara, a Bukowski-text-bleeding waitress in a nameless café. It was performed about two months ago already, but to this day I keep a vivid memory of it.

The cafe’s set is simple and in a way self-evident, allowing the actress to communicate with the audience, which involves teasing, dancing on the table and just being so emotionally naked that you start to wonder if she is going to kill herself – for real, right there. If you die in a dream, you are supposed to die in real life, aren’t you?

Through clever pacing, and closed atmosphere of a pub backroom venue Anna creates an intimate atmosphere that makes you feel the obsessive-compulsive passion that only one-woman performance can give you. The sound design which includes Wagner and Edith Piaf blends perfectly in the background, making you feel as if it was a part of Barbara’s broken personality as well.

Greta’s performance is completely immersive and captivating. Her acting evokes a most unorthodox mix of emotions – you fall in love and yet at the same time you feel the strongest urge to look away – as if you entered the room where something so intimate was happening, that running onto your parents having sex would be would seem as predictable as a visit to a church one calm Sunday morning. By the way she expresses herself you never can be quite sure of what she will do next; the explicitness makes you to feel uncomfortable, on the edge. Greta wants you to be scared, anxious – and succeeds perfectly in that goal. Her direct, explicit, in-your-face performance leaves you no space to look at anything else. Of course her ache leaves me mesmerised because I cherish deep honesty in art more than anything else. I want to be emotionally naked and I love that in this play.

That’s why I am overjoyed to know that there will be a new set of performances of the same play – now in The Cricketers, Kingston 21.07 evening 19:30 & 22.07 matinee 15:00 and evening 19:30 as part of International Youth Arts Festival. There will be a “breathless hush at the close” that night! Just go and you and open yourself to the horror of someone else’s existence.