A Figment In The Elsewhere #3: Snake Fervor

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[pic by Jody Whittle-Wyeth]

-being the third in an ongoing series detailing stand-out acts that ‘appeared’ at The Double R Club (often more than once); acts that Rose Thorne and I loved, that seem to typify in some way, or stand as emblems for, just what it is The Double R have attempted to do, to be, displays that went some way to describing our own particular brand of ‘Lynchian’, over the last more than 100 shows and nine years…

This time: Snake Fervor, and her Darkened Room act.

Inspired by (and incorporating sound design and dialogue from) the David Lynch short film of the same name, Snake Fervor’s Darknened Room act, debuted June 2017 and won Fervor that year’s Miss Twin Peaks crown, and for me stands as one of the acts that best typifies and illustrates just what it is we at The Double R Club have striven for from the beginning, being as it is both inspired by the work of Lynch, but also taking that work and expanding upon it, pushing it in new, surprising and startling directions.

The film itself (from 2002), after a brief introduction during which a Japanese woman talks about, among other things, worldwide banana production (um…?), shows a distraught blonde woman sitting alone in a dimly lit room, mascara bled down her face from crying. She stares into the camera, entreats an unknown other: “Are you listening to me? Please come out here. Someone’s saying something to her again. Don’t leave me alone out here. Come out here! Please. Please!”

In time, a second woman enters, a brunette (the blonde/brunette motif suggesting shades of Mulholland Drive), and tells the blonde that she’s found a hole in her slip (shades of Inland Empire). At first she seems to be accusing the blonde woman of having made the hole in her slip but then seems to segue into strange and unspecified threats:

“There’s nothing you can do about this little thing that’s happening to you. And even if there was, it’s a little too late to do anything about it, don’t you think? It’s your fault, you know that, you do know that don’t you?”

The whole exchange has an dreamlike / nightmarish tone, all the while an unsettling ambient tone/drone playing in the background. The brunette goes on:

“You’re wrong when you think this is all a little bit of a bad dream, do you see that? See if I were to tell you what was really happening… No. You haven’t been listening, but you will. When I tell you what really happened. Interested?”

As with the best acts at The Double R, Fervor took the film, which is really all mood no dénouement , and gives it that strange twist, that left turn into, if not exactly a resolution, certainly a new place and an ending of blood and of fire, as if the frustration of the blonde woman in the film, her pain, somehow combusts, somehow giving her feelings a strange kind of wordless voice or expression.

Beginning in near darkness, lit only by torches from the back of the room, beams of light picking out the haze hanging in the air, Fervor sits, distraught as the sound and dialogue from the film plays: “Don’t leave me alone out here.” Fervor (herself a brunette) appears as a kind of dreamself of the blonde woman (a dream within a dream?) -she sits in fear, and in what could even be some kind of terrible shame, as the brunette harangues her: “It’s your fault, you know that, you do know that don’t you?” -this line in particular holding horrible and unsettling connotations of some kind of abuse, whether physical or sexual, the brunette’s voice insisting on the blonde’s (on Fervor’s) complicity in whatever dark and terrible things have and will befall her.

The first half of the act is almost no act at all, Fervor simply sits and emotes. However, as the music changes (an edited version of ‘Nurser’ by Laddio Bolocko, edgy, discordant and deeply anxiety-inducing) the torment inside her bursts out in blood, as she removes needles from her forehead, and in fire, as she lights the first of her torches…

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A Double R regular once described this act as “the most Lynchian thing I’ve ever seen.”

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Snake has been with The Double R Club for many years and has, over that time, created, co-created and performed many acts of differing styles, intents and levels of danger and/or strangeness. Notable among them are the act she performed where she stabbed a pillow with my face on it (ahem), the act she calls ‘Double Rammstein’ (performed, in part, to my remix of Heirate Mich, listen HERE) and of course the now legendary, and legendarily harrowing, Bob & Ronette act she performs with Heavy Metal Pete (but more of him in another post).

It’s often difficult, nay impossible, to explain The Double R Club to someone who has never been; “it’s cabaret but not cabaret,” I often say, “it’s not your usual wall-to-wall jazz hands kind of show,”after all the word ‘dark’ means different things to different people. However, once the audience have seen this act, they can be in little doubt just what it is that we’ve been striving to do all these years.

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[pics by Jody Whittle-Wyeth]

~ by benjaminlouche on January 23, 2019.

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