Punch Drunk’s “The Drowned Man”
The Drowned Man for me was a complete out of this world experience. It’s set on five floors in an abandoned postal office right next to Paddington train station. Within these five floors are two love stories with their themes of betrayal that portray a loosely based true story. We were all given masks when entering the space. All the same, blank faced mask. We then got placed into an elevator where we got instructions to remain silent, to try and explore alone and that exploration was encouraged thoroughly. This gave me the need to try and see absolutely everything available to me, a tall task indeed. When let out of the elevator we set off into the immense space. It was hard to grasp what was happening; at first was just wandering around clueless as to what was happening, not even realizing there were stairs to other places. I was fairly incompetent. The second time I decided I wanted to follow the story more closely and I became captivated. And despite what we were told I became hooked on one story alone and decided to follow Marshall from the Wendy and Marshall story. The story of how Marshall and Wendy were so in love but Marshall’s thoughtlessness caused him to have an affair with the studio diva, an affair founded by Wendy herself. Leading to Wendy’s dramatic murder scene. It made me understand everything so much more, and despite not getting to see absolutely everything I felt as if I got the full experience. What I enjoyed most about The Drowned Man was how it differed to regular theatre. Things I struggle with in my own performance such as self-consciousness, when everyone around you is laughing so hard or reacting so strongly to something it’s so easy to get wrapped up in that emotion and over play things. The fact that everything felt so natural watching it made me appreciate the performance. Even when the actors portrayed there emotion through physical body movement and dancing. In fact, that made me feel the...
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“The Bizarre World of Butoh", Bernice Yeung, San Francisco Weekly, July 17-23, 2002, cover and p15-22
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