Some of you may know I'm jetting off to Europe in a couple of weeks, but I'm still not entirely sure where the trip will take me. I'm going for a friend's wedding in the UK, but will be heading over to Europe shortly thereafter. I've already organised Berlin and Prague, but am torn about the rest of the trip. From Prague, I have the option of heading north through Poland to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. OR I can go South, through Austria or Hungary to Croatia and perhaps Serbia. I desperately want to avoid the drunk-Boston-frat-boys-crowded places. Any tips?
One place I was thinking of visiting between London and Berlin (I have a week) is Copenhagen. I was reading about Denmark somewhere online and was informed that it's quite possible to buy a cheap bike and just pedal your way across the country. Is it strange that I found that incredibly appealing? Has anyone been to Denmark and confirm that it's small enough to just, you know, ride across? Somehow it seems a bit ambitious.
Bikes have been on my mind lately, having just gotten back on mine after an extended period of absence due to a lethal combination of flat tyre + general laziness (though I blamed the cold, too). I'd like to get a dented used bike in each city I arrive in, just so I can get around on the cheap.
Last week I was at the opening of Arena Theatre's Skid 180, a show based on bmx riders. Yep, it has real bmx riders doing real bmx tricks on a real bmx half-pipe. The tricks are great. The show was reaaaaaally mediocre. Now, as far as design, sound, even acting goes, there was nothing much wrong. The cast (from Manchester-based theatre company Contact) are sometimes a little amateur, sometimes a bit hard to understand, but they're young and some aren't actors by trade, so it's entirely forgivable.
I have to say, though, that the script was really disappointing. A show on bmx culture could well be a great one, especially if it managed to integrate the stunts into the show rather than just halting the story to throw a few action sequences in there. Skid 180, though, decides to offer us bmx riders as post-apocalyptic outlaws, bmx bandits playing at Mad Max. They rant and rave against The System as they cycle around the industrial wasteland of sewers and abandoned streets that make up the landscape.
Now, I like my post-apocalyptic scenarios, sure. But this kind of stuff was cutting edge about twenty years ago. It's now as dated as imagining the future as one defined by flying jet cars and everyone in identical silver jumpsuits. If you're going to give us a post-apocalyptic scenario, it really has to be kind of camped up these days, since this style has already hit it's use by date and is starting to whiff. I want to see jacked up dune buggies driven by mohawked mutants screeching through deserted shopping malls; I want an evil mullet-sporting overlord dressed in tight black leather chaps and a dog collar telling his henchmen to kill the hero but bring back the girl alive; I want people with names like Yor and Zontar and Damnius. I don't want to be expected to take the situation seriously.
(Is it wrong that I've seen this movie? Is it wrong that I own this movie?)
But Skid 180 really is too serious, and I might be going too far by thinking that this could be the result of the play being written by a poet. There are long slabs of lyrical, fragmented dialogue (or speechifying) that just don't work alongside real bmx stunts, and certainly don't have much place in a science-fiction genre setting. Not that poetry can't have a sense of humour but, well, we all know that too often it doesn't.
Neat stunts, though.