Sunday, November 11, 2012

What does ‘mad’ mean?

I’m looking at a flyer for a theatrical production and I’m feeling just a little trepidation about it. It could just be because it is theatre. Theatre tends to have that detached over-the-top exaggeration that even stand-up comedy doesn’t have.

What I’m really concerned about is horrible clichés emerging during the performance and having to sit in the audience gritting my teeth with the want to shout things out, like hecklers would to comedians or poets in a pub.

I’m also feeling awkward about this production because I’ve got a piece of writing in it, so I’ll be partially to blame.

Just at a glance, I’m sure it looks like a MAD comic sort of thing to most people. You know, all those fun kooky mad women thinking weird stuff. Get into that giant cake and rub it all over your body like lube!

I'm all into the idea of the fun of madness. But the actors pictured are all in white, some in strait-jackets…  so they’re trying to say this is something about the psychiatric system as well… Something like, ‘Ain’t it fun being all tied up!’

The actors are open mouth smiling laughs… they seem to be having a right ripper of a time… Makes me want to ask… Does this show have any authenticity in its direction?

The poster replies: ‘Um… awefinticity ‘bout wat?’

Am I mad about this mad show? Um, depends what you mean by ‘mad’. I haven’t even seen it yet and I’m bagging it for the baggage it brings up about horror, prejudice, ignorance and cliché rubbish.

Still, if you’re in Melbourne, I’m urging you to go see it. Recognise what the individual writers think ‘mad’ is, what the costume designer thinks ‘mad’ is, what the director thinks ‘mad’ is, what the actors think ‘mad’ is and if the use of psychiatric torture equipment is fitting with the term ‘mad’. Some people think the term ‘mad’ is akin to crazily angry. Some people use it for selling mobile phones cheaply. Look I’m going to be open to this show and give it a watch and keep my mouth shut and learn exactly what people think. No need to assert my opinion by madly calling out things in the theatre. Maybe a cough or two will do, if utterly necessary.  Got to stick with the boundaries of what is okay, or you are mad.


  1. Shouldn't judge a show by its poster. And they will be donating 50% of our proceeds to The Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service. Besides, there are two shows. The one with my writing in it, is: DRAMA QUEENS – The Order of Melbourne on 26th Nov

    To book for Drama Queens:

    1. Oh, and writers don't get a comp, only actors and directors. What do the writers get? Oh... we get to donate half for our money for the ticket to The Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service, if we wish to watch what the poster offers and see what actors and directors do to our writing. Nice, but somewhat maddening logic that writers aren't doing anything worth a comp. Anyway... it's only $25 each ticket. Think of all those women being driven mad by domestic violence and ending up in psychiatric 'care'. These women need more strait-jackets!

    2. Unfortunately The Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service doesn't offer strait-jackets. But perhaps they might be convinced into buying some after watching this show, so those beaten up women can feel nice and snug and smiling in their jackets like the actors in the poster are. It's important for women who have been oppressed to be oppressed even further, even if the strait-jackets are nice little psychiatric drugs injected with a prick into their bruised bums while they're held down to stop them from resisting.

    3. Okay, do you understand the meaning of 'mad' now?

  2. Hey I agree fully NO; very insensitive and all you can do is respectfully ask them to come up with a better image. There's a real bad restaurant called HUNCHBAX in Richmond and the image is grosse, it has changed but it's no better and I cringe whenever I go past. It seems hurtful and insensitive; careless cold unthinking people that wouldn't change it even if you asked - $$$$$$'s drives them not kindness. Thankfully it's closed but you can still google it up at 1 Church St Richmond and will take 5 years to go with the google maps schedule