i have been aware of vickey curtis for some time now. we have performed on the same stage a number of times, i have attended her events in outhouse and i was a follower of her speaking out against homophobic abuse in ireland this past year.
vickey curtis invited us into her home to talk about the word sorry. i always find being invited into someone’s home a bit disconcerting. i think this might be a dublin thing. i was talking to my mum once and she said that people in dublin tend not to invite each other into their homes. i think russians are similar. i think it might be more of a thing in the country to invite people around into your house. so maybe other people read into this in other ways. for me, being in someone else’s house is disconcerting because you’re on their territory and you don’t want to mess anything up. you don’t want to break their nice things or tread mud on their carpet or break their chair. and even though they might go 'oh it’s fine' i’m always worried that they’ll start complaining about me once i leave. because that’s what i do.
there were no seats during this performance. i have arthritis, well stickler’s syndrome, so it’s important for me to note this. i don’t want to focus on this much because it’s maybe something someone could focus on completely, ignoring the rest of the review. they could be like 'there were no seats don’t see it' but it’s a show worth seeing so go but just be aware there are no seats. luckily i went for a massage earlier in the day (in castleknock) so i was nice and relaxed and able for a stand.
so we were all stood in vickey curtis’ house and there were loads of us and we were all over the place, we were going to hear about the word ‘sorry’ and it was all a bit 'sorry i’m getting in everyone’s way and now my head’s blocking the projector'.
the show started off with a pre-recorded monologue by vickey curtis and then she was like 'the artist is present' which is a fully unapologetic way to introduce oneself but in a way that puts you off to a good start. it’s like 'i am an artist and i am in charge of this situation, thank you for listening'.
i think sometimes, like being from the dublin or from the country, different things can resonate differently with different people. this is pathetically obvious. i had this suspicion, therefore, that this show resonated differently with women than it did with men, but it still resonated. vickey curtis spoke about her relationship with the word sorry. she spoke about it from dominant positions (standing on a table) and maybe more submissive ones (like play acting that she was getting in her own way), how it diminished her social space and affected her relationships with other people. we were encouraged only to say sorry when it was sincere, but to look for more suitable words to use. instead of 'sorry for talking too much' you could say 'thanks for listening'. instead of saying 'sorry for being late' you could say 'thank you for waiting'.
generally when i am late i am very late so i like to prostrate myself begging for forgiveness. i like to kiss shoes. but i think this is an important message, though i would also be worried that people might think i’m being rude by not saying sorry because sometimes people just want to hear a very particular thing.
this show started a conversation, i think, and a good one but i did leave with questions i would have liked further explored.
James for DRAFF
Vickey Curtis Isn't Sorry was part of Live Collision International Festival at Project Arts Centre. See the last shows in the festival tonight. More at livecollision.com. Image: Jose Miguel Jimenez.
Posted on December 3rd 2016.