Friday, May 08, 2009

Great press for Origins

Five days into the Origins Festival, and the press is buzzing with the excitement of this extraordinary programme.

In today's Guardian, Lyn Gardner reviews Strange Resting Places at Soho Theatre:
"The feast plays a central part in Maori culture, and it does too in this charming three-hander which tells the stories of the 28th Maori Battalion who fought in Italy during the second world war. It was clearly an army that marched on its stomach even more than most..... A little show with a big heart. It introduces personal tales into the weave of history and makes connections across thousands of miles and many generations.... Strange Resting Places takes the lost stories of small people caught up in war, and magnifies their tragedies with respect and a smile."

In The Times, Sam Marlowe says of the same production:
"It exerts considerable charm... Leo Gene Peters's production has a cartoonish vivacity... some lovely lucid moments of emotional connection, conveyed in dialogue, zany clowning and music that embraces Italian folk tunes and the sung traditional Maori waiata, as well as hints of big band jazz in on the wings of American fighter pilots."

And Jay Griffiths has written a Comment piece in today's Guardian about the importance of the Festival as a whole:
"Opening with the crazy thunder of Maori performers, parts of the festival are wryly amusing, including the satirical docucomedy Qallunaat – Why White People Are Funny, an Inuit reversal of the anthropological gaze..... In its very programming, it reveals what art itself can mean for indigenous people as something inextricably tied to healing, ecological balance and spirituality."

Exciting times....

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