no strings attached

21Sep09

We left Mainz this morning, the company dispersing via Frankfurt airport or the Hauptbahnhof. It has been an excellent, if very tiring week. Our hosts at the Festival, namely Nike and Tom, have been incredibly warm and generous to us. They loved the show and were only sorry that not more people could have seen it. We managed to elicit some press feedback, which I haven’t seen but which were described by Nike as “not reviews, but hymns…”.

MainzGerman audiences are characteristically generous. I have sat in dance audiences with my hands almost bleeding from the interminable applause. At the end of our first performance I suddenly realised that our modest 2 bows were not going to satisfy the hunger of an oversold auditorium. We hadn’t anticipated or rehearsed the extra bows so rather sheepishly waited for their applause to die down. Had we tripled the bows on subsequent nights I don’t think it would have been enough. British artists do very well here. Forced Entertainment were performing their Void Story simultaneously to ours in a venue 50 yards away, Bootworks (from Chichester) were performing their Little Box of Horrors/Une Boite Andalouse phenomenon in tandem with ours. Host Tom had translated and directed a production of Tim Crouch’s England barely a fortnight ago and cartoon artist David Shrigley has an exhibition of his work downriver in the remarkable building of the Kunsthalle Mainz. With previous Stan visits to Hanover, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Bochum, Hamburg, Rostock, Mannheim and Frankfurt (not to mention German-speaking Freiburg and Vienna) I should feel ashamed at not having a better grasp on the language. Such is the welcome here that it is never a problem – only an opportunity for people to brush up on their spoken English.

The show is done here, the strings detached once more. It’s lamentable and somehow inevitable that friendships appear, shine and then slip out of sight. We say goodbye, and fly.

I arrive home, dump bags and race into the children’s hospital where asthma boy is once more entertaining the staff, whilst unsettling his parents. I re-prioritise.

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