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Neworld Disorder

Ali & Ali and the Axes of Evil. Illustration by Alan Hindle

By Alan Hindle

Friday October 29, 2004

Return of Ali and Ali and the Axes of Evil


CREEPING ghouls baring rotted teeth. Muttering shades moving furniture in the dark. Seductively hideous vampires sibilantly urging their victims to sacrifice their own blood for the glamour of eternal damnation–or for at least another four years. The scariest Halloween party of 2004 is not on October 31st but November 2nd—the American presidential election and the Day of the Dead. Coincidence? Anyone who watches horror movies knows there are no coincidences.
In poll after poll across the US Bush leads by a hair or is in a flat heat with Sen. John Kerry. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in a photo finish. Despite all the evidence laying out the case for W. being declared the greatest monster ever produced by the USA it would appear, barring a miracle of awakened intelligence in the American electorate, that he will actually get voted in again. Little in this world makes sense anymore (although folks have been saying that for five thousand years) and it seems the Age of Reason has passed and we are once more in an Age of Belief. This is the New Mediaevalism. Physics, economics, politics, are all now based upon faith. I (says the scientist, the corporate businessman, the politician) am your duly appointed expert and you must all trust my word as there will be no heresy permitted.
Into this mad new present step two clowns, Ali, Ali, and their Token White Man (Camyar Chai, Marcus Youssef and TWM John Murphy) holding a theatre audience hostage until sanity is released from whatever corporate/military prison it’s been locked up in. It’s going to be a long wait, I think.
Earliest burlesque, while there was always an element of sex involved, was much more political in nature, offering scathingly funny social commentary for the common folk, along with filthy songs and quirky physical comedy routines, all with deliberate targets: The rich, the powerful, the pompous, the all-of-the-above. The Adventures of Ali & Ali and the Axes of Evil at the Cultch was more burlesque or cabaret than straight theatre or even vaudeville. Emptying their heads of gags like an angry cat emptying its litter box, the clowns heaved out a hail of controversial ideas challenging even us bleeding heart liberals to mull over our sympathetic but mostly unhelpful attitudes (and actions) towards the Middle East, racism, and America’s invasive predominance in world culture.
NeWorld Theatre’s new production is either a reworking or a sequel of the show, this time at UBC’s Freddie Wood. Last time, while the angry cat had a stacked arsenal of tightly packed turds to face down the Dogs of War; the stinky artillery was dispersed frenetically, in an almost random frenzy. Fire enough shots, was the thinking, and something will stick. Myself, I am an aficionado of the feline poo poo, but looking back there could have been a wee bit more focus. This second time round, somebody or other told me, the show has been tightened up, with new and even more informed material added. With the exception of Fox News addicts/rubes, pretty much the entire world now knows just how deceitful and botched Bush’s War of Terror is, and the savour of kitty poots should reflect this additional stewing time. We are now all connoisseurs.
The Return of Ali & Ali and the Axes of Evil has only three shows, on the 29th and 30th, with a 3pm matinee on the thirtieth, and it’s important you mark down (as I constantly forget to do) that shows at the Freddie Wood start at 7:30pm, not 8 o’clock. I guess those Uni kids need to be in bed early. Their bones need sleep to grow properly. Tickets and info at 604 822 2678.

POPPED in to see Tanya Marquardt’s new show Liminal, produced by Chrysalis Theatre at Video In. A girl with a clue in a clueless town discovers sex and the trials of freethinking. Watching Marquardt’s brief plays is like sitting inside a quiet, spiky little indie film, like Lost in Translation, but with a bit more acidity. Beautiful lighting slicing slivers of actors out of the dark, a script that lets the viewer write the other half, and performances to sink into. Until the 29th, info at 604 251 1413.