A elephant in the room

Recently there’s been a lot of people coming forward on the scene coming forward about predators and abusers and I can’t say that I’m surprised about the people being called out about it and the worst thing that everyone else, they haven’t appeared to be surprised about these people being called out either and all together that’s really concerning.

Well not the fact that people are speaking up, but the amount of people that suspected that this was happening and haven’t said anything or challenged it (personally I was always challenge if I suspect it).

The other day I was chatting to a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while about predators on the scene and some recent events like the above and said about how predators can be likened to a elephant in a room. Everyone is aware that the elephant is there, that they are an elephant. But it’s more of a hushed agreement. No one says anything. We all can feel that something is off, or some of us have heard a few stories or even experienced the elephant being an elephant but a predator is dainty. It tiptoes on the edge of what is acceptable. It pushes as far as it thinks it can get away with. They claim it is a laugh. They say it is BDSM and justify it because it is their personal belief on how things should be done in their lifestyle. They manipulate consent and shout that the person consented. They will ban safewords, and not even talk about using them.

A predator is on the good side of everyone on its periphery. They need to be perceived as a good person. What elephant wouldn’t try to fit in if it sticks out like a sore thumb? It tries. Again, it dips it’s toe in until it’s time to plunge in the entire foot. Until it forgets itself.

Now, no one wants to stand up and point at the elephant and shout out loud to everyone, ‘It’s an elephant!’ The elephant will clamber in, knock several tables and people over before apologising in a stutter and extending it’s hand to shake and we will pretend we don’t see the broken crockery and possible crushed skulls on the floor because it’s not fair to outcast the elephant. It seems nice, looks nice. It claims standing on those people was an accident. It also had something in it’s eye and it swears blind it overheard one of those people say they liked being stood on. The elephant does this again, something in it’s eye. Oh? That person crushed into the carpet like the last? They said they liked being stood on too! What a coincidence! What’s that? They’re crying? Protesting? Then they’re lying, lost their memory.

If it looks like an elephant and talks like an elephant, it could be an elephant. We can all be as tolerant and as polite as you like, but it’s still an elephant. What can we do without the fear of shouting ‘IT’S AN ELEPHANT’ and being shunned for calling out a ‘friendly’ elephant? Ask someone you trust. ‘Hey, does that look like an elephant in the room to you?’ Tell someone you trust. ‘Hey, I think this could be an elephant. It keeps treading on me, even when I wave my arms around and ask it to look where it’s going. It’s not it’s eyes either, it’s been to the optician’s recently.’ Ask someone you trust if they saw you wave, or what they might have done if they had been the elephant and saw you waving. Keep an eye on the elephant. Be careful of it. You could be mistaken, but you aren’t harming it or anyone else just by being wary. If you think it’s an elephant, acknowledge it. More importantly, if someone tells you they think there’s an elephant in the room, don’t dismiss that person as they feel they have a reason to believe it’s an elephant. Maybe they thought they saw some big ears behind a door, or a trunk once, under the table but something has caused that belief. Ridiculing that someone or thinking ill of them only discourages them from talking about the elephant or any other elephants that they may come across.

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The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time at The Birmingham Hippodrome

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I’m never one to really enjoy the live theatre thanks to my anxiety and also that fact that I find the noise and lighting over helming.

When I entered the Hippodrome, the stage looked like something from a scene from Tronall; the black panels in the form of a tightly constructed box with grids (which later turned out to be screens used when Christopher writes on the floor) which was unveiled in the opening scene with a viciously murdered dog slap in the centre with a pitch fork sticking from it and actors scattered around the crime scene.

It was action packed from the very start, fifteen year-old Christopher John Francis Boone begins his journey at the scene of the crime with Mrs. Shears murdered dog, Wellington playing the role of the victim.

I really don’t want to give away the story because this really is definitely something you need to experience for yourself either by watching it performed or by reading the book (here’s a useful Amzon link for the book http://amzn.to/28UQ6bu)

But I will say a lot has been written about Haddon’s portrayal of Christopher, in that he has a form of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), Haddon had a number of jobs when he was younger including one where he worked with children with learning difficulties, so it’s quite easy to jump to conclusions about the playwright’s influences. Interviews with Haddon reveal that this is not as simple a conclusion as we are led to believe; Haddon said of his previous work: “Only in retrospect do I realize that some of the people I worked with had autism, although they had it much more seriously than Christopher does.”

Whatever your conclusion about Christopher’s behavioural issues, you certainly feel engulfed deep in the mind of this math-genius-come-detective, in part due to the precision of the actors who play him, combined with the clever use of the stage set to create and at times a chaotic and claustrophobic atmosphere.

This production is definitely one of the best I’ve seen (from plays I’ve managed to see before), and one I will love to go and see again. The use of such a small set to portray a story that is so complex (a play within a play) is flawless. For the designers among you, it’s use of props, lighting, graphics, choreography and hyper dose of electronic beats to allow us to perfectly delve into Christopher’s mind is a sensory pleasure. The designer, Bunny Christie perfectly achieved her goal of replicating Christopher’s description of himself as Sherlock Homes in the book and in particular that his mind was comparable to a laboratory. The set really was the lead character and the agile set design perfectly echoed the way our protagonist’s mind jumps around the timeline without detracting from the many layers of the story.

For those of you looking to be gripped by a story that perfectly blends tragedy and humour, whilst encasing you in an empathy and compassion, you won’t be disappointed.

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