Monday, March 18, 2013

A Thousand Miles of History @ Bussey Building

Time for a play telling the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and some Andy Warhol thrown in for giggles. It starts with Basquiat giving up his SAMO graffiti days and tracks his career progression to mainstream artist, tracking his friendship with other the other artists and showing the relationship between his popularity and his drug dependency along the way.

Performances are good, with great potential shown in the lead Michael Walters, and Adam Riches (who I subsequently found out did well at Edinburgh last year) doing a great Warhol; his intro was timed to perfection. Only one lady in the cast who plays the gallery owner who signs up the artists; she did great too.

There's a little bit of hip-hop and spraycans but they're incidental really, and not what the play is about; a shame as that's what I thought I was getting. I guess I should leave that to the Brixton B-Boy Championships. This focuses on more on the relationships that the artists had along the way. There's a great scene showing Glen O'Brien's TV Party scene too that had much laughter from the crowd.

The biggest surprise was in finding out just how influential Fab 5 Freddy (as mentioned by Blondie and presenter of Yo MTV Raps) was. A quick follow up read on wikipedia shows that his involvement in the street art movement around this time probably laid the foundations to the likes of Fairey and Banksy being popular today; I just doubt you'd find them pulling guys in a sauna in quite the way Haring and Basquiat did.

I think it's on until the end of March so a week or so to still see it.


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