SANTIAGO – Being part of the new, and completely made up, politically correct liberal elite of Metropolitan Santiago, Chile Today´s John Browning felt almost duty bound to attend one of the productions taking place during the Santiago a Mil ’19 festival. He visited a children’s play – an experience he enjoyed.
My wife and friends decided the best chance of me staying to watch a full performance, and not complaining midway through “that the theme of the play glorifies war,” was to take me to a children’s play named “Alice on Run.”
The venue for my cultural awakening, albeit in child form, was Parque Araucano in Las Condes. Upon arrival we searched for the best place to sit to watch the performance and settled on standing (because there weren’t any seats) somewhere out of the way of the main central stage area and somewhere near what appeared to be another main central stage area.
Confused? I was! Suddenly, the lights opened on a character in the corner of the park and straight after there was a sudden surge in the crowd, a pushing, like a wave. The activity was a collective force brought about by the now rapid movement of the illuminated character, who was charging towards us on an elevated platform belting out what I think was a German (?) opera.
I could now see that the character was standing on a three or four meter-high platform made from scaffolding with wheels on the bottom which was being pushed along on by a group of people who obviously had the job of both pushing the scaffolding cart thing and ushering the bewildered audience members out of the way so that they were not trampled to death.
Although at this point there was no guarantee that we would not simply trample each other to death in the mad chaos that ensued, it was GREAT, I was loving my theatrical/cultural experience! I had no idea what I was watching, what the lady was singing about and no idea what was to come, but so far it had the makings of a family mosh pit, like a modern day Green Day concert, a fact that made me feel surprisingly comfortable.
In the opening scenes we found Alice in her house, a different piece of scaffolding in the middle of the park, watering flowers and generally having a nice time with some butler bloke and her friend. Then, all hell breaks loose, there was an earthquake accompanied by some steelpunk-style electronica that Germany is so famous for and eventually the scaffolding house starts to disintegrate before the audience’s eyes! Parts of the house rise and other parts fall and collapse all the while smoke streams from the house and German electronica blasts out of the speakers.
Eventually Alice was left alone and stranded, four meters off the ground in her bathtub in a now completely flooded new world. She uses a broom that she finds in the bathtub to paddle her way around the audience while water trickles from the four-meter high tub down onto unsuspecting audience members, who are now desperately trying to not be trampled by Alice’s scaffolding bathtub and also trying not get soaking wet with the water flooding out.
For the next hour and half we were mesmerized as Alice explored the different worlds and different stages which were dynamically scattered throughout the park. Explosions, fireworks, foam and more German electronica ensued in what was really a thoroughly entertaining night.
The experience has made “even” me want to attend some of the other shows that make up the Santiago a Mil ’19 festival which runs until the end of the month.
John is a volcanologist, sports fan, radio broadcaster, and accomplished musician. Born and raised in Britain, he has travelled extensively for his research on volcanoes. Whilst living in London, UK, John performed in the punk bands ‘And Now We’re Even’ and ‘Filthy Militia’ recording six studio albums and two EP’S over this time. He currently lives in Santiago, Chile where he works as a university professor in rock mechanics.