Jet of Blood discusses the auto-biographical abuse story of its creator, Mari Moriarty. Not an uncommon one among ‘victims, survivors, accusers, whatever you want to call us.’ This is controversial protest theatre that delves into the pain, torture, and self-mutilation that comes with being a victim of rape.
A disturbing combination of dance, physical theatre, music and mask play, this is a brutal experience, and not one I would call a show or entertainment. But if it allows the writer to heal, then it is not something I can mark out of 5 stars. I ask you to look beyond the rating and instead I will try to examine the experience.
I am a fan of subtlety, as I find it so much more effective. This was anything but. When passion and feeling are more important than structure and story, the piece becomes unapologetically raw. The creator, along with the actors, have ripped themselves open to us. It must have been torturous, having to perform this masochistic play for days on end. And they did so beautifully, and bravely, twisting and screaming on white sheets stained by the show before and the show before that.
The crowd didn’t know how to respond. Some laughed, some hid their face with their hands but the majority just stared. There were no tears, or hugging which I have experienced at other heart-wrenching theatre. Just silence as we made our way to the door.
It pushed me so hard to feel I ended up feeling nothing. An inner wall went up as I disassociated from the graphic sex and the graphic rape. I suppose that says more about me than the piece. I almost felt angry that I was being subjected to what felt like an attack on the senses. Then I realised I did feel things: I felt embarrassed, I felt ashamed, I felt disgusted, then I felt numb. I suppose that’s closer to the feelings of a victim. Like many women that’s something I know more about than I’d like to.
It is not something I can call enjoyable or something I can even recommend – to go has to be your decision. I can’t call it as show as I don’t think it’s for an audience so much as it exists for its creator. All I can say is that it’s important.