The Null Device

Tonight I went to see The New Scum, a play by a local outfit named Theatre In Decay. (One of the people behind it is one Robert Reid, who was also in the vaguely D.A.A.S-esque music combo God's Little Accidents during the late 1990s.) It was rather entertaining, in an anarchic, dadaistic way; the play took part all around the Empress Hotel, with actors emerging from amongst the audience. The play took the form of several interleaved stories; among them, the zombie invasion of a town named Wolverine, the story of the girl who lives in the Coca-Cola sign above St Kilda Rd., and the somewhat uneasy tale of two garbagemen, one dying of cancer, who find a dead 13-year-old junky.. or so it seems. These stories were interleaved with musical numbers and readings of news stories. The central theme of The New Scum is one of anxiety on the margins of a corporate-ruled, globalised world (Naomi Klein's book No Logo and Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan both appear to be influences); we are the New Scum. As you might imagine, this isn't comfortable, apathetic entertainment; don't expect Puppetry Of The Penis or something; on the other hand, it isn't earnestly humorless Marxist-fundamentalist street theatre either.

Along with the show (and the performance afterward by Dandelion Wine), there was a small zine, titled Scum on the Wall, on sale at the venue, and consisting of writing, poetry and underground comics by various members of the New Scum, or people of a similar bent from the Melbourne fringe arts scene.

Anyway, excuse the semi-coherent rambling tone of this entry. The gist is, I enjoyed The New Scum, and you may as well (or not).

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