Maggie MacDonald's the Rat King Mini Rock Opera
The time will come to pass / when wealth and social class / will be as meaingless / as rat's feet over broken glass

I went to see the Tin Tin Tin performance (curated by Carl Wilson at Toronto's new Drake Hotel ) on a whim, and came away stunned and moved. The music was good. I liked Three-Ring Circuits quite a bit although Jonny Dovercourt's stagey attempt to shush the talkative audience was unfortunate. It's your job to win our attention, Mr.Guy-On-Stage. I liked Act 3 (Polmo Polpo, Great Bob Scott, & Chris Gartner) okay: live jazz to a projection of super 8 film (baboons with a warthog and a leopard) that was being aesthetically slowed, paused and melted on the spot, to nerve-wracking effect. Kinda like a snuff-film, only its the film itself that's getting snuffed (plus, maybe some baboons, when the leopard shows up).

But all this is preamble to the main event: the Rat King Mini Rock Opera, by Maggie MacDonald (sorry for the lame link - I know there must be better out there), which was grEAt! This performance was supposedly a 'workshop' or 'rough' run-through, but it captivated and transported us (we audience), bad wigs, funny rat-hats, gawky on-stage props, reading-from-scripts and all. The music was great and Magali Meagher took performative control with such poignant panache, that we all surrendered our disbelief en mass. Jes Singer was calm and confident as the lanky, scary dad with daughter issues, and John Caffrey made a lovely rat king, complete with jiggling third-hand, protruding from the torso. This was very fine, small-venue, scary/funny, cathartic theatre the way those ancient Greek dudes made it up to be.

- sally mckay 2-19-2004 9:40 am

Way over in the corner they were, pulsing, from this distance just a furry heap, this distance, length like being somewhere and wanting to just be home in bed and not having the slightest clue how you're gonna get there.

There is no doubt that rat kings exist: sixty or so have been reported in Europe since 1564 and about 40 (most of them found alive) have been authenticated , the latest in 1963.

the 1963 rat king of Rucphen

Sporadic recordings over the past five hundred years have served only to ground the already inflamed reputation of this freakish phenomenon. For mention of the rat-king recurs repeatedly in Western literature irrespective of scientific verification of its authenticity.

Be a fan of the character Rafael, the Rat King

A Rat King decides that his exceptional daughter must marry "only the most powerful in all the world." He sets forth on a journey to find the perfect husband. By journey's end, the King has learned an important lesson about power from the sun, the cloud, the wind, the stone wall, and an ordinary gray rat whom his daughter has secretly loved all along.

The Rat King and The Nutcracker

Just like I said before
Great King Rat was a dirty old man
And a dirty old man was he

- sally mckay 2-20-2004 8:54 am