Winners and Losers is “. . .cultural highlight of the week” according to Jorn Weisbrodt

WINNERS_AND_LOSERS2

Photo of James Long and Marcus Youssef by Simon Hayter

By Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director, Luminato Festival, November 26, 2013 (Jorn’s Blog –  luminatofestival.com)

Can the world be divided into Winners and Losers? This was the question at a theatre performance of the same title that I saw at the Berkeley Street Theatre which was my cultural highlight of the week. What I thought was more fascinating than following whether Canada is a winner or loser –when considering the US, Iraq, Pamela Anderson and the Occupy Movement – was watching the two actors while knowing that they are real life friends. And not being sure where the theatre ends and the real friendship and life begins.

One of my sisters-in-law once said to me: Facebook is where real friends turn into fake friends. In this performance I saw two real friends dealing with each other like real friends should. Friends should take each other seriously, argue with each other, fight, hold the mirror of potential truth up to each other’s faces while understanding that it is a game that will end at some point.

I wondered how this would be possible to end without asking the inevitable question of who is the winner of the two and who is the loser. But magically none of them was. So the message to me was much more this: If we honestly engage with each other, if we are passionate about who we are and defend that – while also being passionate about admitting our own faults,engaging with someone who could potentially be our enemy and open to unveiling certain truths that we might prefer to hide, winning and losing becomes obsolete.

Winning and losing is always only the perspective of others who do not know us. How many likes one has on Facebook, how many twitter followers one has says nothing about who we are. If the internet is taking over our social exchange we might as well trade our personalities at the stock market. Having a friendship like the one the two actors on stage share is something that everyone should wish for. It replaces your shrink and certainly 99% of one’s Facebook friends.

It seems that this is a piece that everyone should start performing at home. And if it is only for the Ping Pong that they play during the performance which is one of the most fun things to do anyways.

And at the end of it you will know that knowing that you are losing is really winning.

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