Review – Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong by Jo Randerson

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.


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