Review – Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong by Jo RandersonPosted: March 9, 2016
Notes on Jo Randerson’s Fringe show, Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong at BATS Theatre, 29 Feb, 2016
At first I noted that Jo mixed her obnoxious pushy Barbarian character, whose attempt to light a cigarette a couple of times was quashed by the stage manager, with a sweeter character, even pursuing Bach and others on piano, perhaps a more natural self.
They seemed a bit incongruous at first. Then yesterday it came to me that what she may have been trying to say was that social activists like herself often feel that ‘others’ ( complacent/consumerists) see her as being obnoxious and pushy by being involved and ‘out there’ in these causes/issues. (I would say that’s not paranoia.) The whole play made sense in that light to me. This person she met who had the spark in his/her eye would have been a fellow activist and they had many exciting times together. When that person disappeared and was later found, the spark was gone: “Why did you stop fighting?” That’s a common thought among activists, hence the old advice to ‘activists’: ‘don’t burn out’.
What about the ‘boy barbarian’ at the end, where the adult barbarian snatched the cigarette from the boy barbarian? Well, actually, having a kid will change things in some significant way. That’s life. Sort of a ‘coda’ to the show, perhaps.