132 Views

Review: Sick Festival

 

Last week, SICK! Festival, which describes itself as “the antidote to the physical, mental and social challenges of life”, came to the University of Sussex for a week long showcase of its various artists and performances.

 

Ogutu Muraya was one of the many talented performers on the agenda of this year’s SICK! Festival with his show entitled ‘Fractured Memory’. Inspired by James Baldwin’s essay ‘Princes and Powers’, Muraya takes the audience on an imagined journey that begins at the Sorbonne in Paris, 1956, where a congregation of Afro-intellectuals, writers and artists met. From this starting point, Muraya weaves together an interesting tale of both personal experiences as well as historical standpoints in order to bring the audience a better idea of the effects of the Sorbonne. This is a period of modern history that is still remarkably untold, thus rendering Muraya’s performance a very important social and political commentary.

 

Visually, ‘Fractured Memory’ was especially enjoyable due to Muraya’s extremely varied selection of visual aids. Throughout the performance, Muraya would often deliver his lines to the audience whilst also using a larger screen behind him as part of the set. The screen would display close-ups of Muraya’s hands as he spoke, or, more frequently, two screens layered together portraying Muraya in black and white as he talked and laughed. Not only did this appear to serve the purpose of highlighting the different emotional nuances Muraya sought to communicate across, but also served to display a vintage aesthetic not unlike the 1950s time period that the performance centres itself around.

 

Muraya used a variety of visual and audio clips from historical archives to educate his audience about the different historical time periods that he was seeking to discuss. This seems to serve the purpose of marking scene changes and to signal the start and end of different narratives. It also served to help the audience gain a degree of background knowledge before Muraya’s continued discussion and performance, something particularly valuable in a performance that was often rather difficult to follow due to the complex content that was being dealt with.

 

A particularly gripping and shocking part of the performance was through Muraya’s own personal stories about being a young boy in Kenya and surviving his home being under attack, with only he and his mother inside. With the aid of a number of beautifully drawn masks, Muraya describes the way he and his mother attempt to fool and scare their attackers away by pretending that there were a lot more people inside of the house who were unafraid and ready to fight back. It was a fascinating tale about strength and resilience in the face of an adverse and life-threatening situation, as well as showcasing a more traditional method of storytelling that was as enchanting as it was informative. Perhaps what is especially interesting about this particular story is that it was set as recently as 2007, highlighting a collective Western ignorance to the issues occurring in the world around us. However, this is something Muraya does expertly through the medium of theatre, in order to educate Western audiences on issues perhaps unbeknown to much of our society by appealing to our greater emotions and senses.

 

Muraya’s ‘Fractured Memory’ is a show that will not soon be forgotten for all of those in attendance, due to the often shocking and heartbreaking personal stories weaved alongside historical videos and audio clips. Due to the complex nature of the content and context Muraya chose to focus on, the performance is hard to follow for an audience member not well-acquainted with the events that went on at the Sorbonne. However, juxtaposed against vintage style aesthetics and intricate props and tied together with Muraya’s gift for spoken-word style prose and humour, complex issues regarding the aftermath of the Sorbonne are addressed in a creative and innovative manner likely to leave a lasting impression on all those who go to see it.

 

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
491 views1
Campus News
491 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
7 views
Arts
7 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
64 views
Arts
64 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
79 views
Arts
79 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
102 views
Arts
102 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
122 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
136 views
Arts
136 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
129 views
Arts
129 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
203 views
Campus News
203 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
95 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
190 views
Arts
190 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
127 views
Arts
127 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
202 views
Artist Focus
202 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
138 views
Interview
138 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
204 views
Arts
204 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
222 views
Arts
222 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
268 views
Arts
268 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
185 views
Artist Focus
185 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
186 views
Books
186 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
233 views
Science
233 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
254 views
News
254 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…