“There is something insidiously dark in each of these moments, yet at that instant of witnessing them I can only register a slight distaste in my mouth without being able to articulate why. The audience laughs, and I find myself chuckling along, uncertain of myself. What is the function of laughter, and what do we miss when we laugh? I allow myself an hour or so of thoughtlessness, and sure enough, Starcatcher leaves no room for me to pause and regather my thoughts. Laughter feels almost like an opioid, and I wonder what it is that Starcatcher is trying to distract us from. In the lightheartedness of theatre, we forget that laughter can sometimes be a poison, or more mildly put, a way to make reality more palatable. It does not provide a cure.”
Dear Saloma and Vinod,
I first met the two of you seven years ago, when I was 16. I dissected your words, and tried to live alongside you in Off Centre. I fear I have outlived you. Yet after meeting the both of you again, I know I have not. I may never. So do many others since 2007, when your world became a cornerstone text read and studied by thousands of other 16-year-olds every year, as they prepare for a major national examination. The fictional world has a way of outliving what we know as reality. It restates that horrid, beautiful luxury each time Off Centre is restaged, reviving ghosts of those who have, who are, coping with their mental health. Reality has no such luxury. People slip through the cracks all the time.