George Fenn – Router Sidewalker

5 October, Albert Park
Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017

Street Theatre. Who can ever predict the outcome? Under a cold grey sky, six of us chatted before becoming aware of being stalked by a guy with a blue broom and one roller blade. He was early. Odd.

“Like a cat, you know, ignore it and it will come to you.” One of our band laughed with us at her own truth, but the weird guy withdrew instead. Did he hear or was it intuition for intrigue?

We couldn’t help but be drawn in to his action however: a serious mime of patting surfaces, the flick of a leaf across the grass; he sidled up to the brick wall and wordlessly invited us to join him in examining the world within a narrow opening, hardly more than a crack. His brand of weird was fun, contagious and liberating.

We were silenced with his silence.

But then he startled us with speech, made us aware that there really were no boundaries!

One of us he named “Souless boy”, shamed for the inferior quality of his (evil) jersey. Light impromptu theatre was plucked from its low thread count, improved by the situation-inspired use of Vitamin C and then he killed its devil within the men’s loo on Russell St.

Surely this makes you want to go? To Fringe in the ‘Stings, I mean!

It’s this “everyday things turned upside down” approach that so engaged us.

‘Look here,” he said, without saying, “it’s entirely common place but, OBSERVE, it’s also magical!” A millennium Dr Who in a knitted shawl, he wailed and helped us cross the Karamu Road of endless sorrow and showed us the inside of Heretaunga Street’s Tardis, invisible to everyone else.

But wait there’s more: Router Sidewalker’s ‘Train Water’ graffiti technique encouraged messages of love, with environment friendly water-based materials (and, yes, the broom).  Old chants exorcised the clock tower demon and we stopped to appreciate one of the original Hastings’ wire trees… Go figure.

As a group we became magnetized to the Sidewalker’s loadstar; our mass attracted space-dust pedestrians who gathered and joined hands, galactic cellphones recorded the event as they experienced it, and then they moved on, smiling, into a renewed universe.

This was a show without borders, punctuated with laughter; a natural high with a charming young man strong enough to show his everyman vulnerability (and gently laugh at us), and use his nudging intelligence to re-engage our child within.

By the finish we all knew George Fenn was smart and wonderfully intuitive, his observances were fresh air.

And now you’ve all got to go! Treat yourself: turn up and be rewarded.

Friday 6th and Saturday 7th October, 11am, Once Upon a Something, The Eastbourne, and Router Sidewalker: 4pm, 6th and 7th October, Albert Park.


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