"Tell me, if you can, why a grown man in his mid-thirties, namely me, should have to live with an instrument that's a constant handicap to him? Humanly, socially, sexually, musically, in traffic..." Patrick Suskind's The Double Bass.
The same genius that brought us Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, also really affected that sweet spot between my left and right lungs with The Double Bass, which is on until the 14 March at Sandton's Auto General Theatre on the square. What I thought would be a terrible one-act, one-man play wherein Pieter Bosch Botha would speak at me for an hour and a half about the double bass actually turned out to be a very heartbreaking monologue about a lonely double bassist disenfranchised and almost crippled by the four string instrument that makes up his life purpose.
It begins as a middle-age man simply praising the double bass, he speaks about how it's sparked revolution in classical music, its lack of appreciation, its central importance to any orchestra along with anecdotes about famous composers and the history of the opera and orchestra. But the double bass, as an instrument, starts to change form in the bassist's monologue. The bass becomes this allegory for oppressive voices, the bassist is unheard and, despite all his classical training, he is reduced to a mere artisan as opposed to a musician or creative. The double bass works as both a helping hand and a crutch; it taunts him, demands more of him, he even goes as far as to take the jack off of his back to protect it from the rain. Coupled with his soundproofed apartment, the bassist is forced to accept this unhealthy, pseudo-codependency because, in the end, the bass is all he has.
I recommend everyone see this play once in their life. It's the most thought-provoking, endearing and jarring tale of loneliness, of how the things that make us also break us, of the uncomfortable nature that is this human existence. It's been over seven days and this play still rattles my bones.which I wore as a skirt here) on backwards and it turned into a pretty cool boxy, turtleneck thing. My pants are relics from H&M that have me spend every four minutes posing like one of Soulja Boi fuckboys (ie. constantly grabbing my crotch). But if you're fortunate enough to either have super long stems or pull of that fuckboy look, these are for you, boo.
Anyone see/read some really cool plays lately? I need something to go against The Double Bass as the best thing ever.