2020 Chutzpah! Festival
Old Friends by Tamara Micner

When & Where November 22,2020, Noon | Live streamed from London, England

Reviewer John Jane

London, England based Canadian performance artist Tamara Micner’s new solo show Old Friends casts a curious eye over friendships. The title is borrowed from the Simon and Garfunkel song of the same name. Simon and Garfunkel are a major part of the show, which Micner freely admits is a work in progress, using film footage from their famous Concert in Central Park in September, 1981.

A key component for Old Friends is the sporadic relationship of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel as it juxtaposes with one of her own childhood friendships that didn’t survive adulthood.

Even considering that the show’s development is at square one, the production elements are pretty shapeless. The set consists of a locker room bench with a couple of small speakers planted at one end, in front of a loosely fixed portable projection screen. The lighting varies between harsh and dim. While Micner’s performance is not strictly ‘script-in-hand’ she frequently needs to refer to notes that help her deliver the thin narrative.

The duration of the show is only about thirty minutes and comes live streamed from somewhere in London, which would explain the noon time slot, corresponding with 8pm in London. The show is followed by a Q & A session with Svetlana Maximovskaya (a character by Iris Bahr), which was more enlightening than the show.

I’m sure that there is a kernel for a full-blown theatre production here, but requires a much more expansive narrative. I would like to see this show a year from now.

© 2020 John Jane