- Chris O'Rourke
Tiger Dublin Fringe 2016: Longing Lasts Longer
Photo credit: Steven Menendez
A radical rock and roll rallying call
Penny Arcade doesn't pick on the audience, she has material. She also has a story to tell. And a hell of a lot of opinions and points to make. On sugar zombies, Snow White, the princess plague, the gentrification of the mind and the city, and the death of art, history and real creativity, epitomised by the soulless hipster who has colonised art and turned it into an act of banality. Part rock 'n' roll theatre, part lecture, part love poem to New York City, in ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ Penny Arcade pulls no punches. Rather she swirls, jumps and dances like a wild, whirling dervish, taking a scalpel to the deadened heart with an evangelical fervour.
Penny Arcade is the kind of girl mothers once warned their boys about. Trouble with a capital T, she's a bad penny, and Penny likes being bad. She doesn’t know her place, won’t play by the rules, has too much to say for herself, being a loud mouthed, foul mouthed, bad influence on others. But being bad is something Penny’s dreadfully good at. Since running away from home at 14 seeking the company of the great, Penny has been pushing the boundaries of theatre, catching the attention of the likes of Andy Warhol along the way, and challenging complacency and cultural amnesia wherever she finds it.
In ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ Penny focuses less on her fascinating biography and more on her fascination with culture. She has to. The young have lost their way. Once radicals against censorship and oppression, young college students today now seek to ban books. All in the name of political and empathetic correctness, fearing they just might read something potentially offensive. It’s all gone gentrified, like New York, like every city in the world, and they never saw it coming. But Penny believes in giving a solid two fingers to victimhood and to those who would get in her way. And she just might convince you to do likewise.
In ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ the difference between nostalgia and longing is immeasurable. As is the difference between what passes for activism and what is truly activism. Intoxicating and inspirational, Penny Arcade will rock your world! ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ is Fringe at its potent, most exhilarating best. A rallying call to life, compelling you to see the world afresh, see yourself and others afresh, filling you with the desire go out and make the changes, to be everything you already are. Can we get an "Amen!" to go with that please! Don’t dare miss the legend that is Penny Arcade.
‘Longing Lasts Longer’ by Penny Arcade runs at The Abbey Theatre on The Peacock Stage until September 16th
For further information, visit The Abbey Theatre or Tiger Dublin Fringe