Audience fair game in show
Ever have those weeks where it all just gets to be a bit much and the end of the week isn’t even in sight yet? Stress, both physical and mental, has a lot to answer for, my friends.
It gives you wrinkles, acne, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia and a whole slew of other nasty things.
It can also generally make you a bit of a prat to be around (don’t be that guy).
What I’m saying is that stress can quite literally kill you, so it’s important we have regular intervals in our lives where stress doesn’t exist.
Work can be stressful, home life can be stressful, kids can be stressful. Heck even cats can be stressful.
Yes, I know that last one sounds a bit ridiculous, but when you’re rushing out the door to work and you put your shoes on hastily, only to find that your jerk of a cat has vomited in them (OMG seriously what is my life), then that can make you a little bit stressed.
Especially if it’s same rude cat that vomited in your carrot seedling last month that you’d been trying to grow for three weeks (a disgusting, but true story).
Cat puke aside, I’ve had a few things on my mind in past few weeks and while it’s not causing any dangerous levels of stress, it’s still noticeable.
But in a moment of rationality, I decided that something had to give; I was stressed about several things, but what could I do about some of those things?
A whole lot of nothing, that’s what.
Yes, stress has a lot to answer for, but how much of that are we putting on ourselves?
Think about it: that thing that is causing you major anxiety – do you actually have any control over it?
If the answer is no, then let me give you some radical advice: let it go (or try).
Now, I’m not oblivious to the fact that this is much easier said than done, and there are simply some things that cannot be let go.
But sometimes it could be something as simple as leaving a room to get out of the headspace you’ve been in for the past two hours.
Maybe even try saying what it is you’re stressed about out loud – you’d be surprised how insignificant and maybe even silly it might sound when you speak words to it.
Or maybe take a nap from all your responsibilities, even if it’s just for half an hour (friendly PSA, do not do this at work).
OK, probably not that last one, but university Briar would have argued that point until she was blue in the face.
The Ministry of Health’s website says we all need a bit of stress in our lives to stay healthy. They’re not wrong; it’s important we know how to function under pressure.
But alleviating stress is also important. I read a brochure from the Mental Health Foundation the other day that suggested creating a harmonious work environment could be beneficial for managing stress.
‘‘Organise your workspace; have some flowers in your office; check your light source,’’ it said.
Basically I’ve interpreted this as a fantastic excuse to give myself flowers every week (good Lord, could I be more single).
So, if you think you may have a bit more on your plate than what could be considered reasonable stress, let me make some suggestions.
Here’s a list of things where stress doesn’t exist: the salon where you get massages, spa baths, the tasting area at wineries, Disneyland.
I’m going to hazard a guess that stress also doesn’t exist in places like the Maldives, Bora Bora or Santorini because how can anywhere that beautiful even remotely cause anyone to have a mental aneurism.
My darlings, theatre has never been so fun! In the final week of the Southland Festival of the Arts, the best has been saved for last in this hilarious, raucous, energetic and unconventional retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
This was a show I’ve been looking forward to for most of the festival and, darlings, it didn’t disappoint.
The performers – a troupe of five – have sexy French accents, which I’m almost sure is deliberate because how can you say no to audience participation when someone is talking to you in a sexy accent?
From the second the doors to the theatre opened, audience members knew they were in for something different and to expect the unexpected.
The ‘‘Frenchies’’ – Baptiste, Antoine, Phillipe, Ginger and Lily – poured out and boldly introduced themselves as we shuffled in toward our seats.
Try as some people may, there was no escaping them; in fact, there was no escaping them for the entire show.
And it was fabulous. There’s a certain cringe factor to audience participation, but Jekyll and Hyde made it anything but.
Everyone was fair game but you didn’t feel silly – one gentleman got particularly into his role as ‘‘Doctor Paul’’, eliciting chuckles from everyone as he was led toward the stage in a creeping, maniacal fashion.
The re-telling of the story in itself is quite simple, with the five performers sharing around the two roles of Jekyll and Hyde by way wearing hat for the good doctor and badly-coiffured wig for Mr Hyde.
Where this show earns its stripes is in its hilarious barbs and oneliners, tailored to the location they’re performing in.
The show’s dramatic and comedic use of sound serves them well.
A thunderous clap every time the words ‘‘the darkness’’ was uttered and the deep voice manipulation effect on the microphone for the Mr Hyde dialogue made for busy yet polished performance, but one where you almost forgot this was an actual performance.
You’d think everyone was almost ad-libbing the whole thing in the way it comes together, such is the troupe’s engagement in performance.
Though a traditionally grotesque and terrifying character, Jekyll and Hyde produces a Mr Hyde character that is both dark and funny.
Giving into his dark desires, his one liners from ‘‘can I sniff your neck’’ to his, ahem, ‘‘involvement’’ in what I think was a sort of interpretive dance at a strip club, are sure to have you doubled over in laughter.
Don’t worry about that darkness taking over the show though, they always make sure to ‘‘push it down’’ and keep the momentum going.
A most boisterous and sidesplitting retelling of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic; darlings, take the time to revel in the delectable chaos that is Jekyll and Hyde – it’s very passionate (they are very French).
The cast from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Stress, both physical and mental, has a lot to answer for.