MixTape opened at Crow’s Theatre last night. It’s a one woman show conceived, written and performed by Zorana Sadiq. It’s a complex show and I describe it with some trepidation a i think the whole is considerably greater than the sum of the parts into which I must decompose it. Structurally it’s a mixture of story telling, stand up comedy, recital and recorded music facilitated by Sadiq’s training as a classical singer; Master of Music as she half proudly, half tongue in cheek informs us at one point. The music is eclectic; ranging from Neil Diamond and Michael Jackson to Messiaen and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. It all points to life stages and life events and to a growing realisation that music, and indeed sound, can be much more than we imagine in our first explorations of it. Some of the music is recorded but much is performed, expertly, by Sadiq. There are also, of course, references to the infamous “mx tape” and the limitations of cassette tape technology.
But I think there’s another level of this show that needs to be unpacked. It’s about relationships; to one’s family, to one’s own body and to music/sound, and how those relationships interact in ways that are sometimes surprising and gratifying and sometimes deeply disturbing. Sadiq is searingly honest as she explores her fraught relationship with her pushy and entitled mother, the emotional heights of realising how the body can be an instrument to the depths when that instrument goes wrong to the experience of listening to one’s baby’s foetal heart beat, and much more. It’s quite raw and visceral. It’s also a plea to be open to new ways of seeing and hearing. At one point she asks the audience to listen, eyes closed, to part of Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphonie. I’m a huge Messiaen fan but it’s the kind of music many people are not open to. Sadiq asks us to consider why or why not.
The show is also a “stand up routine”. There’s a lot of audience interaction and that really mattered last night. It was Sadiq’s first live show since pre-pandemic and most of the audience’s first experience of a live show in a crowded theatre (it was pretty much sold out). It created a unique vibe and bond between performer and audience that was deeply moving. We were back. We had survived.
Seeing a show about personal catharsis as one’s reintroduction to the theatre of live theatre was a very powerful experience and I recommend this show highly. It runs at Crow’s until November 28th with a mix of some shows at 50% capacity and others “full house”. I suspect “full house” is necessary to get the full experience.
Of course, many other people contributed to this show. Full details are here. Photo credits: Aleksandar Antonjevic.