The lovely wildeabandon
took me to Prague! This was 27th-30th March, but I've been busy doing nothing.
Mostly I played the dazzled innocent, as Sebastian guided me through streets filled with buildings all in exquisite pastel colours like cakes in a patisserie. He bought me a single red rose: the first time anyone's ever thought to buy me flowers. When wandering aimlessly we found a building that looked like a fairytale castle in one of the squares.
"Are you the prince that does the saving, or the prince that needs saving?" he asked me. After some consideration I decided I was the dragon, and the prince who needed saving.
Happy just to be with each other we didn't try to rush around filling each moment with something touristy. Unfortunately this meant we failed to get to the Town Hall, the site of The First Defenestration of Prague and so I guess the birthplace of the awesome word defenestration
(which is so
not made up) as the OED says:
defenestration: The action of throwing out of a window
Defenestration of Prague, the action of the Bohemian insurgents who, on the 21st of May 1618, broke up a meeting of Imperial commissioners and deputies of the States, held in the castle of the Hradshin, and threw two of the commissioners and their secretary out of the window; this formed the prelude to the Thirty Years' War.
We did make it to the Sex Toy Museum. The exhibits were interesting, but outside of the context of flesh they seemed cold, uninviting, and occasionally scary.
After that we had a bit of a wait till the showing of Aspects of Alice
started at the Black Light Theatre. I was tired and frankly would have rather just gone back to hotel with Sebastian. So while we waited I think I got a touch cranky, despite the fact the bar we were at playing an brilliant live The Clash album, with this performance
of The Guns of Brixton
a song which I'd previously felt was a dull point in an otherwise brilliant album.
But Aspects of Alice
really was worth the wait. Before it started I sat nibbling a rose petal into the shape of a heart and offered it to Sebastian. He carefully put it away, and my silly gesture became suddenly serious.
I'd never been to a Black Light Theatre before (apparently it's a speciality of Prague so, robert_jones
, we did do something typical of Prague). It combines the kind of puppetry where the background is black and the puppeteers dress in black (they did a good job with the light so there was only one or two disappointingly visible puppeteers), black light (UV), and some gimmick I didn't understand which let Alice fly and twirl in the air seemingly without effort.
I'm sort of wary of physical theatre because I'm worried it'll all be nonsense I won't understand, or be able to get anything from. But the images felt genuinely surreal and compelling: there always seemed to be some kind of hard to articulate meaning lurking beneath the bizarre images.
It was a (rather loose) adaptation of Alice in Wonderland
; I think I wouldn't have noticed many of the connections without Sebastian. During the first half of the performance I drifted in and out of sleep (I'm blaming the wonderfully dream-like music), but I think it didn't matter too much because the narrative was pretty fractured already.
In the second half, before Alice came on stage, two of the women were on stage, arranged so their legs seemed to be flowers. It seemed odd
, but since I thought it was a children's play I assumed it was innocent. I find what happened next quite difficult to describe, it was erotic, sexy, and had lesbians in the Garden of Eden, and yet somehow also quite innocent, and was quite sweet and really rather moving.
The whole performance was magical, in both senses, and I'd definitely recommend going to a Black Light Theatre if you're ever in Prague. This video
of a slightly different production doesn't do the show justice, but then neither do my words.
an infinity of you
We didn't get to sleep till quite late, and so on Sunday we woke up really quite late. So we had to rush around the Kafka Museum. Despite being essentially linear, the curators clearly made an effort to make it feel labyrinthine, and the music they played wouldn't have been out of place in a David Lynch film. So the experience did feel somewhat Kafkaesque but, and I feel like a horrible philistine for writing this, but I don't really understand what I'm supposed to get from Museums like that that I can't get from books. We ended up leaving before we'd made it all the way round, because the place was closing. Possibly if we ate before we could have rather than after, then we could have made it all the way round.
But I didn't mind at all, because the restuarant we went to before was really quite divine. I'm not going to try to describe the food (hopefully wildeabandon
will do that - hint hint), but sitting there with the view of the bridge and the lovely buildings, and of Sebastian is one my best memories of Prague.