Day 2 Machynnleth Fest

It really is pleasant. Manageable in size. Ok for those who worry about crowds, busy-ness, lack of toilets, etc.!

Shows watched 

Cat James’ solo theatre piece with dance Worse Things Happen. This is the reason I travelled to the festival. Cat is a beautiful, intelligent, generous, brave, and skilled performer and maker. This is a show exploring her sense of failure, depression, anger, and discoveries along the way. I absolutely loved it but I knew I would. A helpful, gorgeous piece that has wonderful joy. Thank you, Cat.

I booked two extra shows today. My rule has been to watch women and people of colour only. I did book for Stewart Lee but I ended up unintentionally missing his show.

Desiree Burch. Love the use of the two slits experiment – if it’s watched it matter behaves differently. The idea of living without changing our selves because we are watched. The reminder that we labels – gender, sexuality, size, age, race, class etc. – change us. Desiree has incredible energy, heart, and generosity. Heaps of fab observations. Wish I could have spoken to her afterwards. 

Debbie Vyse was surprisingly great. At the start my heart sank – what on earth had I booked us into?! It was all a bit jolly japes and loudness. But Debbie and her team (including the technician) have such great spirit. I love it when things go wrong and the artists don’t cave in, freak out, get bitter etc. The stuff that goes wrong is such a gift to any performer! Great show. Could have done without the Korea joke. 

Conclusions:

– Seeing Cat is always a Good Thing

– I like bumping into nice people I know. It’s especially nice when people of status aren’t too big for their boots to say hello and give out hugs. 

– It’s nice to be at a show and not be performing 

– I can always see famous people perform but it’s not always possible to discover less famous people. I especially like watching work in progress. 

– I notice the people of colour in a space. People in Mach, those who live here, notice me. Children still make fun of larger built folk. I want to think more about body-shaming. 

– Performers notice people of colour in the audience. I wonder how much material or behaviour they adjust? Do I make them uncomfortable? Probably. Why aren’t there more people of colour here? Well, because it feels weird to be noticed because of your skin colour. I don’t like it.

– I don’t like it when, at a cafe or BnB or anywhere in hospitality, the staff address the man I’m with as opposed to both of us, or me. 

– Mach grows veg all over town for anyone to pick and eat. WONDERFUL. 

– Performers at a festival, don’t run over your time slot. Your audience probably need to be somewhere else at a particular time.

– I’d like to return.

Until next year, Mach Fest, thank you!

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