Reviewed by Humira Imtiaz
Review Date: 16/10/14

Dharma Punk Revolution

from Sandy Davidson


The Punk Revolution came into full force at the Star and Shadow Cinema; Sandy Davidson played an eclectic variety of characters stemming from the present situation of a man longing for some peace at heart and mind. This semi-autobiographical piece has a series of different sketches which gives an insight into the mind of a man who is struggling with his psyche and focuses on the Buddhist teachings with the Punk lifestyle. Originally the 1 man show was to host 10 characters, 8 of which were played by Sandy, the others being implied. Unfortunately the show ended earlier than planned due to the small audience, and we only met 7 of the 10 characters, 2 of which were implied during the performance. His meditation, albeit a struggle, shows him in the different forms of his childhood with his silent sister Grace, his anxious Mother and stringent Father.

Sandy’s performance switched between characters regularly, the smooth transition of his body language into his chosen character works well and the implied characters are not only given a voice, but a personality which the audience can still relate with. The variety of characters helped guide the audience into the deep seated mind of Sandy as a child and a slight glimpse into his motivations for meditation, being a playful child, living an impoverished and simple life with his family, he grows up to be a poet/spoken word artist and writer. We see him as a child being beguiled by his mother’s stories of the mischievous antics that he and his sister, Grace performed and how they could set their mother into a laughing fit and enrage their father.

As an adult, Sandy has a daughter, and still struggles to leave behind his troubled past, having hoped that a new life could be made with someone else. With this realisation, he and the audience embark on a journey of self-actualisation with Buddhist techniques. We get to see the struggles involved in the specific form of mediation, but Sandy is able to find his own way by adapting the practice, allowing him to reflect upon his life so far. I cannot fathom what else Sandy had in store for us with this incomplete piece, but I could gather that this unusual piece was aimed to encourage the audience to enhance their abstract minds and open up to the concept of our reality being anything but concrete.

This work in progress has quite a long way to go, and what would have been more interesting if the Buddhist themes were explored a little more. This maybe where the performance was heading, which would have been very interesting to see. Did Sandy ever reach his long sought enlightenment?