Review: “Real Time” by The Peoplehood
I came to this show because it was free, and so I thought I’d support that, attend, and do a review. I didn’t really have any idea what it would be about. I did rather enjoy myself. As I entered, the cast was already performing, jamming with their musical instruments and dancing. There was a guitar and a flute and a drum. The cast was very diverse in appearance and clothing, which I enjoyed. The stage decoration was mostly dominated by a colorful desert-type Native American patterned rug. I enjoyed the feeling of this immediately- already, I knew I was participating in real theatre. Just as real theatre began as a celebration of life with music and dancing around a fire, so too did this evoke such a feeling, connecting me with primal humanity. It reminded me of the drumming my native ancestors must have done before my branch of the family lost touch with such tradition.
I knew that it would only be a half-hour long, so I knew that we would not be inducing any ecstatic trances through prolonged drumming, chanting, and dancing, but that I was teased with it at the edge of my consciousness was enough.
I felt the realness, the presence of the actors, who were so pleased to be presenting their art to us. And indeed, this art was participatory. They had each audience member participate at least once, I think. As for my part, I read a flashcard which stated something like: Ubuntu is a language very difficult to render into English. After each flashcard the actors would enter into a new theme. For this theme, they tried to teach us a little Ubuntu and discussed some Ubuntu ideas which I thought were lovely. In Ubuntu, everyone knows that they are not merely an individual, but that their identity depends on everyone else. Your own worth and success depends upon that of others around you. We are inseparate. An idea lost on so many native English speakers today.
The actors also discussed that they are the Peoplehood. Now, the actors were from all over the world and descend from very diverse ancestors, but they called themselves the Peoplehood. We are all the people of the world. We are all one tribe, after all. They told us that their name expressed that we should be spending real time with people. Time is so important, and so illusory, and so fleeting. They personified Time in a lovely fashion. There was also a very beautiful scene in which two lovers met in the Gaza strip and were killed (which has happened). We saw, expressed through theatrical movement, their humanity and their death. I could tell that these actors loved one another, and they expressed that love is the universal impulse- and that we must all love one another to function well in this universe. Love is the only law. I had to stop myself at certain points from crying a little when they would express all these things. They touched upon what is real in life, you see.
The actors were all still on book, but that they were able to do such real, present work, and touch me so, means I do not think it detracted that much from the piece. The Fringe is just the place for such experimental theatre, after all. I complimented them after their show and discovered that they had only met a couple of weeks ago. How amazing!
I recommend this show to anyone who wants to connect with love and humanity.