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A Very Hungry Caterpillar
and, yeah, Ok, so it's a Fringe Festival event and all, so I was curious, plus I went with members of my constellation, so, you know, group experiences and all that... but TBh this post could be titled:

POLY: THEY'RE DOING IT WRONG

The play was well acted, music was lovely, lighting was great, it was a perfectly fine presentation. Most of my problems seem to stem from the story. It starts off with a scene where every one hates each other, and then they go back through a series of memories on how the couple turned into the triad and ended up all hating each other.

Problems I had

- All discussions seemed to happen between two of the triad, and not three. I forsee problems already. This is crucial when being poly - communicate communicate communicate.
- They talked about compromise, as in, they used the word. But they never actually seemed to do so, or explore it, or do anything other than throw the words around occasionally.
- Discussions were very emotive and very little use. One thing I talk about a LOT is logistics. Who is where when, and does this meet every one's needs at the time? They just shouted a lot. It was irritating to see, and annoying to listen to.
- Unhappy ending. Cos that's just so rare it was new and interesting, right? Because just soooooo many relationships have happy endings, we should totally ignore the possibly interesting topics for something already done a thousand times before? (Sarcasm may have been engaged in the last sentence or two. I am not sorry.)
- There was *nothing* of interest in the story. Of all the things they could do, the author used tired tropes and issues that heteronormative couples face all the time, and our protags did *nothing* interesting, unusual, or challenging in response to those issues.
- I got a third of the way in and went "Oh god, there's going to be one big issue which breaks them all apart, right? It's either going to be X, or Z." I was right. There was one big issue that broke them apart. (See comment about "compromise").
- I started envisioning ways the story could have ended which would have been more interesting and more challenging. It wouldn't have been hard. IE.... so we get to the end, and then we see them sitting around a table and actually having a conversation and actually compromising and making space and allowances for each other... and actually being in a poly relationship, not in a series of interlinked monogamous relationship in which two parts of the triad run off and have emotive discussions which should have been done in their threesomes.
- "I want our relationship to progress!" That comment alone was annoying - they're in a fucking lesbian triad poly relationship. The very nature of that is doing their own thing, finding their own way, loving each other in ways that society is not built for. Progress to *what???*

So to a large degree, it kind of seemed like a play written by someone who is vaguely comfortable with poly relationships but not aware of them *in depth.* I keep thinking of ways they could have made it more interesting and challenging, such as what if the one who had wanted a baby had been the man? Then we have some rich fodder for a diverse discussion of the issues of poly vs heteronormative relationships. The play was called Poly, but it didn't feel like it was about Poly, it felt like it was about General Relationship Issues With Bonus Lesbian Sex Scene. The issues they faced could have been poly issues, but they weren't. If it was a true poly household (by my understanding) then the first discussions would have been about what issues the Big Issue was causing, how could we accomodate those issues/worries, what ways the family could grow and adapt to meet *everyone's* needs rather than just causing heartbreak and pain.

If the point of the play was that poly only work when every one wants the same thing, then I think the message was lost in the dross. And that's the same rule for any sort of relationship. Any relationship works when people want the same thing. So how is that message different from any other sort of relationship?

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
purrdence
Feb. 26th, 2013 10:04 am (UTC)
So no mention of Google Planner then?
callistra
Feb. 26th, 2013 11:18 am (UTC)
Not a single word :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )