- OnStage New Zealand Columnist
My son contacted me last night and he was excited. He is now the owner of the (local park name) Pokemon gym. I don’t want to reveal the name of the park as I have no idea if it would be libelous or not. I could be inadvertently revealing information that may put his life at risk. This is serious stuff.
He’s been ‘kindly’ walking the dog more often but I suspect it is a guise so he can sneak up people’s driveways to chase Pokemon with the pretense that the dog has taken off.
The very big news around this outbreak of Pokemon Go is that it is very well disguised as the new amalgamation of theatre genres.
Pokemon Go has people freely interacting with strangers and making up the conversations as they go. Of course this is known to we thespians as improvisation and interactive theatre with devising thrown in. A modern day reformation from the outside ranks! Some may think that Theatre of the Absurd and a dash of Brecht are in the mix.
My brother-in-law in Perth posted a short video clip of him looking very perplexed at 10pm in the dark in a park in the freezing cold and the flickering lights behind him indicated the presence of not just his four young adult sons but hundreds of enthusiastic Pokemon hunters, interacting, devising and improvising.
It has all the action of classic theatre:
There’s the battles - Coriolanus revived but safer.
“Not a sword in sight and the trusty mobile phone doth nay a sharp edge hath.”
There’s the searching and the longing and the failure and the rejection and the trying again. A sort of strange odyssey that includes little fictitious creatures that you think you might own but maybe you don’t, they’re in your reach until you’re battled out whilst you run about in a crazed frenzy dashing and darting getting nowhere. Unrequited love.
Shakespeare/ Greek mythology revised
Apparently there’s only two ‘gyms’ in our neighborhood but several thousand people looking for them. A tragedy in the making. So many will lose time and quality of life searching for something they can never have. Shakespeare would be so proud.
It does my soul good to see people so enthusiastic about theatre in this interestingly-confusing neo-everything form.
Good theatre people - let the bells toll and let the world know that they are reviving theatre. Once this craze dies down participants must be guided with haste to a trusty local theatre group near you or them or someone!
Love it. Theatre gives life to life