you feel the same vague disappointment you get when a film or book concludes with “…and it was all a dream”
Being Dead (Don Quixote) | Review
The skeleton of Don Quixote gets some modern flesh on it in Kerith Manderson-Galvin’s one-woman show, Being Dead (Don Quixote), with the inclusion of OkCupid messages, whispers of Kathy Acker and tweets from Amanda Bynes.
At its strongest points, it’s a humorous, entertaining romp exploring the themes of identity, masculinity versus femininity, patriarchy, anarchy and social expectations, and experiments with storytelling form through various mediums (dance, props, live music from a duo).
However, at times it feels muddled and unnecessarily disjointed. The parallels to Don Quixote are there, with scenes or events translated into their modern-day counterparts, but some of these leave you unsettled, as the audience is unsure whether to laugh or not; for example, Amanda Bynes breaking down in the public eye, or Manderson-Galvin putting her lips through a hole in a cardboard cut-out of a white policeman brandishing a gun and miming to Rock ‘N’ Roll N*gger. The attempt to satirise – if that was the intent – falls flat due to the blatant racism in the song; and just because it’s meta doesn’t make it clever or justified.
After it all ends, you feel the same vague disappointment you get when a film or book concludes with “…and it was all a dream”. But perhaps, like in Don Quixote, fantasy is sometimes preferable to reality.