Punch Drunk : The Drowned Man
The future of storytelling
these are the descriptions of their new theatrical performance. I don’t know how to define it yet. I am still mesmerized by the yesterday’s show.
The whole 3 hours of experience had never let me got bored, and the effect of the white mask was definitely powerful. It invited the audience as a dynamic and essential element of the show. It is more than mind-blowing. It just made me speechless.
This is what I can call immersive. There is a storyline, which is a sort of typical story of love, lust, yearning, betrayal, and seduction. But it is really amazing how they turn this boring story into dynamic, overwhelming experiences. Even though the audience has full authority of participation, this show is the utmost engaging one that I had never experienced before. Every one in the show somehow complete their own version of narrative by actively, and voluntarily interact with the whole stage.
Contrast to the fact that I actually have missed some part of the show, it does not feel that I MISS them at all. Performance, settings, actors, dancers, sound, and the audience, everything is just in the flow and everything create the whole theatrical experience by intuitively making decisions in every moments.
I cannot tell that the dexterity of performace, songs, or dances are perfectly executed, and some of them literally feels quite rough. But even the roughness feels coherent. I don’t know, maybe I am too into it atm. To someone who appreciate the concrete narrative may dislike the absolute openness and the infinite autonomy of this performance. It may feels like a whole chaos to some audience. It may too scary, too outrageous, or obscene but it is still definitely worth to experience.
The Punchdrunk undoubtedly knows how to play with the audience. They know the exact timing, strength, and the duration in terms of the relationship between the show and the audience.
I envy them. I envy that this kind of production can physically be realized. I envy the whole structure, and the system of the cultural production that bring this idea to the real world.