POUND FOR POUND






from Sky Gilbert's memoir, EJACULATIONS FROM THE CHARM FACTORY



Anyway, we were off to see a weird play in some hole-in-the-wall on Queen Street directed by someone with an unpronounceable name. It may very well have been Christopher [Newton's] idea. He was always wanting to go see avant-garde stuff. He said, wisely, "Performance art is a great place to steal ideas." Performance artists take enormous risks and aren't bound by conventional notions of narrative. Usually we were looking for visual stuff: images, techniques, lighting, sound, and set ideas we wouldn't normally think of in a theatre environment. We didn't want to be bound by the rules of the theatre, at least not in our deepest imaginings, our fantasies of what might possibly be.

Hillar's play was staged in the back of a bar. I don't remember much about it, except a beautiful, half-naked woman in a hammock (Rosalba Martinni), and some half-naked men. The performance was very sexual, beautiful and moving and frightening and funny. And surprising. I think that's what we were both so happy about - being surprised by a performance for a change. We were both astounded, overjoyed. It was so much fun walking back along Queen Street with him on that spring night. First of all we had to get over the sheer excitement of our discovery. "Hillar Liitoja is a genius!" we said. We were ecstatic.