Sydney Festival 2008: Ilotopie – Water Fools

If ever a name suited a group of people then this was it… especially the ‘fools’ bit. No, not the group doing the performing, *us* for standing around in steaming in the rain for 45 minutes watching them!!

No doubt you’re wondering what I’m on about, so I’ll explain.

Because the weather has been so bad, we were all going stir crazy. To help relieve the stress, yesterday we all braved the rain and went into Sydney. After a sojourn at The Australian Museum, surely one of *the* most tedious museums ever to open its doors, we meandered over to Darling Harbour to visit the iMax… surely one of the most misused marvels available! Misused? Well yes. The film format is breathtaking with a *huge* ‘8 storey screen’ yet the films available for screening are pretty mediocre most of the time. Anyway, this isn’t the time to moan about the iMax… there are other things of greater import afoot! 🙂

Once out of the iMax we went off for a quick bite to eat and a cup of hot tea… both needed to restore the system in the face of the rain that had/has been drizzling down almost continuously for the past 8 weeks. We’d decided to stay until 9:30 p.m. in order to watch a free showing of ‘Water Fools’ performed by the French visual artistic group Ilotopie as part of the Sydney Festival 2008.

We stood there at 8:45 p.m., alongside the harbour… in the rain… steaming… and waiting. And then it began. A car slowly drove across the harbour. It was followed by someone ‘pulling’ a waste bin and ‘brushing up’… then someone riding a bicycle… street lights popped up out of the water… it looked as if it was going to be quite interesting. All we needed was for the narrative to start to let us in on what we were supposed to be watching.

Ok there *was* music loud enough to be weapons grade… and I think I mentioned it was raining… but it looked… interesting. e needed a narrative.

Then it started to get utterly surreal. A woman rowed a four poster bed out onto the harbour, which collided with the car. The car burst into flames and the woman on the bed started throwing feathers everywhere. We looked on in amazement waiting for something meaningful to appear which explained it all. We waited in vain.

There were flames everywhere… all sorts of things were alight. Out came two small barges with what *I* thought were a devil and an angel on board. The ‘devil’ set fire to the wings of the ‘angel’… and from somewhere a ‘paddle wheel’ began moving about on which was a ‘woman (?) who appeared to be wearing a bright red dress. She was 15 feet off the ground and the dress covered the entire thing.

By now we were all just gobsmacked. This was beginning to look like *the* biggest load of crap I’d seen for four or so years when I’d suffered through some wierdo’s rolling huge transparent balls across Homebush! Like those balls, Ilotopie was I assume intended to look ‘arty’. My interpretation is that they really need a capital ‘F’ in front of ‘arty’ to make it truly descriptive of what we watched.

Don’t ask we to decribe any more. My mind was already filled with odd images… e.g. the naked people covered in grey paint who were drifting about. Full frontal nudie? Well of course… they’re French. Ewww….

Eventually there were fireworks… not many it’s true, but some. Sadly there weren’t enough to make it worth hanging about for an hour in the rain to see.

Was it worth waiting for? Nope. Did I enjoy it? Nope. Would I go to see it again? Nope.  It’s one and only saving grace, if you can call it a saving grace, is that it was ‘free’ in that we didn’t specifically have to pay out cash to watch it. If we *had* paid I’d have gone and demanded my money back.

In my opinion, Ilotopie was without doubt *the* biggest load of crap I’ve seen in many, many, *many* years!!!


2 thoughts on “Sydney Festival 2008: Ilotopie – Water Fools

  1. I could not have put it better myself. Waterfools was the most boring piece of entertainment I have ever been to. 10 minutes in to the display my husband I looked eachother and said, “this is crap” but decided to hang around because our 4 yo was keen for some fireworks. After 20 mins I was keen to go, as I thought this stupid show was sure to produce some anger in the cab line once finished, and I was already too P***ed off as to be taken for the WATER drenched FOOL sitting around watching this piece of rubbish. The last thing I wanted to do was wait in the cab line trying to understand what the hell had gone on for the last 45 mins. So we left prior to the show ending and couldn’t help but notice the mass of blank staring faces, all a bit agitated and bored as well. Waht Farty and Fools we were to even attend – what a load of rubbish!

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