HOME Theatre, Manchester; Thursday 7th March, 2019
Kourtney Kardashian – who is she?
According to the family tree that Sleepwalk Collective have so kindly added as an Appendix to their programme notes, she appears to be the oldest of the Kardashian siblings. So she’s the big sister.
According to the most fundamental of universal metrics for measuring cultural relevance, she’s not as important as Kim or Khloe, but she certainly seems to be less pathetic than Rob:
According to Sleepwalk Collective, Kourtney Kardashian is “an opera of sorts”. But it doesn’t really seem to have anything to do with KourtKar herself, at least not in any explicit way.
And rather than being an opera, this performance feels much more like an opera about an opera – it just happens to be one which potentially touches very, very gently upon some KourtKar-like issues / themes / ideas / notions / sentiments.
But then that goes back to the original question: who is she?
Kourtney Kardashian is so abstract and surreal that after a while it begins to take a considerable cognitive effort to even remember who you are and what you’re actually doing in the theatre on a cold Thursday night in March.
Up on stage is a near-hypnotic visual spectacle involving two operatic megastars in exquisite gold robes. Smoke billows everywhere in the gloomy darkness as these two goddess-like heroines deliver line after line of the most stunningly profound philosophy.
Remember: this is an opera about an opera, it’s not an opera.
The philosophical musings are deep – scathing put-downs seem to suggest that Sleepwalk Collective have come looking for a proper dust-up with the audience. They cruelly point out that they’re getting paid no matter what happens, there’s even a threat to replace the audience with programmed robots who will not need to feel anything – they’ll just laugh and clap as instructed.
“And if robots can replace the audience in this way,” ask Sleepwalk, “then, well …. what value were you the audience ever adding in the first place?”
It’s pretty harsh is that.
Insults seem to be the most notable feature of the show but there is plenty more besides, including a lengthy reflection on the economic and spiritual power of gold – most notably how the world seems to be obsessed with the pursuit of material wealth. Is this a dig at the whole KourtKar celebrity culture thing maybe?
At the end of it all nothing about KourtKar is explained or any better understood. There is no new insight into who or what she is, or what she represents.
But one thing is certain: I definitely quite like Kourtney Kardashian – the mysterious opera about an opera (of sorts) – a dreamy and delightful experience with such potent and dangerous mind-bending powers that, by the time the proverbial fat lady sings, I’ve totally forgotten what the question was.
|Visual pleasure||Mostly delivered in the dark with spotlights on the performers. The music was the star of the show but there’s no doubt that the “autocue” in the form of projections onto the rear wall helped to guide the audience’s experience.||4|
|Auditory pleasure||Beautifully composed music, a strange fusion of operatic and electronic dance styles. All delivered live as well, when coupled with the predominantly dark visuals it created a beautiful experience.||5|
|Architecture & Theme||Easily one of the most abstract and surreal shows that I’ve ever seen. Takes a huge mental effort to work out what’s going on but once the ethos of it is embedded it becomes a thoroughly enjoyable experience.||3|
|Artistic delivery||Excellent performances, both actresses doing a fine job of literally playing a diva. Coupled with the musical outputs it creates a striking performance.||4|
|Overall impact||I really like this show, but I can’t explain why. Maybe because it’s just so different to anything else. It’s like an amazing drug that you’re trying for the first time, pushing and pulling the mind into places that it’s not been before.||3|
|0||Detrimental – This aspect of the performance was so bad that it made the overall experience worse|
|1||Weak – This aspect of the performance was poor|
|2||Adequate – This aspect of the performance was perfectly acceptable, though nothing special|
|3||Good – This aspect of the performance was above average, it pleased in some way|
|4||Excellent – This aspect of the performance was much better than normal, it was impressive|
|5||Awe-inspiring – This aspect of the performance was exceptional, new boundaries were pushed.|