KING SIZE: a bizarre collective journey (or my first Marthaler experience)

I’m seriously beginning to think that the most appealing piece of live art should only consist of locking someone up in an empty room and making them face their own state of being. Then again, with the endless capacity of human mind to delude itself by assigning meaning to literally anything, this piece would probably fail to become a self-reflection opportunity… Soon enough there’d be narratives and interpretations of an empty room as an all-encompassing metaphor for life and human condition.

Gotta admit, after seeing Marthaler’s KING SIZE I was very tempted to read up on its interpretations and write a few semi-intellectual impressions that would make me look  kinda intelligent. But the truth is that the best thing this piece did for me was to remind me that theatre is, after all, a collective experience. Throughout the entire show I was acutely aware of the fact that there’s people watching it with me and the thought that we’re in this together, somehow made me feel like it’s an hour well spent. An hour and twenty minutes, to be precise: the time where nothing really happened except that we laughed at somewhat lame, but nevertheless funny scenes of an old lady finding a choir in her closet or eating spaghetti out of her handbag.

Among the chaotic individual character journeys, there were brief moments of connection that could trigger an emotional response and a stream-of-consciousness-like- ramble along the lines of “to think or not to think – makes no difference” could provoke a somewhat philosophical discussion. But that’s not the point (if there was a point to start with). Despite of the meaning that could be (and without a doubt – will be) assigned to the dramaturgy of the piece, for me its value lies in experience. It’s being in a collective of people  – who were taken on an almost dream-like journey driven by a song and accompanied by some absurd and often abrupt imagery – that makes the show worthwhile.

Beyond the physical, beyond the intellectual, beyond the emotional even, there is this blissful state of being where we all function as one and Marthaler’s piece has momentarily taken me there. If there was any other point to this show – I claim my right to dissmiss it. And until somebody locks me up in that empty room – I’ll cling on to my blissfully ignorant reasons for its appreciation.

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