An invitation to The Big House


The Big House 2013 is a new performance festival happening in Cellbridge, Kildare over the August Bank Holiday weekend. And Salon du Chat has been invited. Yippee thanks The Performance Coorporation (festival organisers).  The festival promises to be a delightful mix of performance, theatre, music, dance, surprises and talk (yes that’s us).

So the Salon du Chat chefs have been cooking up a new menu, inspired by the sights and sounds of The Big House. So far so tasty. Here’s a few samples ‘Grounds for…’, ‘Zero Waste Life’, Pillow Talk’. When we add conversation topics to a menu we put a lot of thought into why we choose a topic and what kind of conversations we think a menu topic will lead to. But of course we have little influence over the interpretation of a menu item or the direction a table of chatterers will take any conversation topic and of course that is the beauty and intrigue of any Salon. But often people ask us to explain a menu item and right now I want to talk about the item ‘Distractions’ from the mains section of The Big House menu.

The thinking behind ‘Distractions’ is that distractions are part of life. A major part of life but are they helpful, why do they happen and can or should we try to avoid them. Are not all art and media some form of distraction from life itself? Are music, theatre, tv, dance, literature, sculpture, and even festivals just the shadows dancing on the back wall of Plato’s philosophical cave? And while Plato regarded the true philospher as the one who escaped into the light and saw the shadows for the pale reflections they actually were, do we all need to be philosophers to get on with a rewarding life? And to add a postmodern twist is philosophy not just another distraction from the active business of life? These are some of the questions we hope people will discuss if they join us for a Salon du Chat at The Big House.

But on another practical level of ‘Distractions’ I thought people might think about how easily we all get distracted from the annoying jobs that life demands we do. You know the ones I mean (signing up for bonus points from Tescos, organising your medical receipts, trying to find the best deal on car insurance, sorting out the cupboard under the stairs – I could go on but I’m even boring myself and I know you know you get the picture). And then when we actually finally eventually sit down and tackle those jobs we wonder why we didn’t do them months ago. Why were we so distracted from that part of life, when not getting those jobs done has been constantly on our minds and driving us crazy?

And then there’s the time when life itself is the distraction that stops us enjoying the moments that really matter. When we’re so distracted by getting the dinner made, or the email sent to notice the beautiful sunset. Or we’re so distracted from the mess and muddy footprints to notice the beauty and joy of our children or partners.

It’s easy to be distracted, but what are the moments of life to protect from distractions, and what are the distractions that deserve compete immersion? I hope that this topic will be chosen from the menu and that somebody can help me find the answers to some of these distracted and protracted questions.

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