@Fest Why is love so important?

Why is love so important?

“Love is probably the most talked and sung about  subject in history, yet it is something we know  very little about,” says Love Doctor writer and  director Andrew Simpson. This topic – along with sex and  relationships – throbs through many shows this year.  Simpson, who is also a life coach, elaborates, “90% of the  problems my clients come to me with are connected to issues  about love and relationships. So I decided to put together all  of the things I’ve learnt as a life coach and present them in a  fun and interesting way by combining it with my acting and  comedy side.”

Hooking Up’. photo: Charles Harry Mackenzie

Hooking Up’. photo: Charles Harry Mackenzie

Taking a more fatal look at love, Between Love and Pain  deals with the inevitable failure of a relationship when two  people are incompatible.  “I find many people trapped in very  abusive relationships, because they always hope that things  would change for better tomorrow, and yet things remain the  same,” says director Mzwamadoda “Mzi” Vava. “I wanted  to investigate why a couple would fight to save an already  broken relationship, instead of opting for a way out of it.”  Another Day is a physical theatre piece that tells an entire  love story through only dance and song. “We decided to delve  deeper into the fact that the spark fades, and over time the  excitement can dwindle,” says choreographer Ash Searle.

“It’s sad, but it’s something that can happen to all of us at  some point.”  Many comedians find a wealth of material in relationships  and dating. “I wrote an entire show called Learner  Husband,” says Stuart Taylor, whose  current show is called Bespoke. “It  was aimed at clueless husbands,  because I figured that I’d have an  inexhaustible audience.”  But Taylor has advice  for women too, “Ladies: if  your man asks you to get  married, don’t say ‘yes’,  say ‘when’. Too many guys  are using engagement as a  stop gap.”

Getting frisky at Festival

The first thing I see as I walk into Friar Tuck’s is a couple pressed against the bar, kissing vigorously. They’re not exactly grinding, but their tongues were dancing to an Ellie Goulding rhythm. There is no lurking in dark corners for these two. I’ve heard stories about what happens against the dark corners of back walls, and I’m not sure if I want to go there – just yet. I don’t even have to go as far as the corners and another couple are standing smack bang in the middle of the dancefloor.

They are oblivious to the jostling of the crowd around them. The guy’s hands are steadily creeping lower on the girl’s body and they’re not even pretending to be dancing to the heavy bass music. “Last night I saw a boy who looked about 16 hooking up with a woman who must have been at least 40,” says Mitchell Parker, a Festival-goer. “I don’t even know what to say. It was shocking to watch.” Hooking up – whether it’s as a cougar, a seal-clubber or a MILF – is not quite going all the way, but it’s a bit more than a casual kiss. And it has nothing to do with what your mother means when she says it. And let’s be frank, it’s easy at Festival. Sometimes in a club like Friar’s all you have to do is turn around on the dancefloor and you’ll find yourself lip-locked with a complete stranger.

You don’t even need to know their name. “I got very drunk last night,” says Kelsey Cullen, a visiting NMMU student. “I went out to the Rat [and Parrot] and Friar’s, and by the end of the night I had hooked up with two different guys. I definitely don’t see a future with either of them, but I had a good time.” The hook-up culture in Grahamstown is infamous. Rumours are, Friar’s is one of SA’s top hook-up spots. It’s cool if you’re into that kind of thing, but newbies be warned. It’s mostly associated with Rhodes University students, but after a night out during Festival it is clear that hooking up is something that happens here no matter what time of year it is.

Sarah Beningfield
Cue student reporter

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