After brilliantly anarchic runs London’s Soho Theatre and the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which earned her both a prestigious Scotsman Fringe First Award and a Herald Angel Award, New York’s undisputed queen of the underground, Penny Arcade brings Longing Lasts Longer to Australia – an exuberant performance anthem and passionate rumination on love, longing and loss.
In equal parts memoir and manifesto, Arcade’s acclaimed razor sharp satire is mixed live to a euphoric music soundscape inspired by four decades of pop culture. Driven by her magnetic rock n’ roll energy, Longing Lasts Longer creates a crack in the post-gentrified landscape where audiences can think, laugh and dance at the same time.
Since first climbing out of her bedroom window at age 14 to join a fabulously disenfranchised world of queers, junkies, whores, stars, deviants and geniuses, Penny Arcade (aka Susana Ventura) has become one of the most influential performers in the world.
Recruited by Andy Warhol to be a Factory Superstar while still a teenager, Arcade then spent over a decade engaged in globe hopping, performance art and international intrigue before returning to NYC.
In 1990, she created her most famous work, her sex and censorship show, BITCH!DYKE!FAGHAG!WHORE! a blend of political humanism, freedom of expression and erotic dancing. After an unprecedented year run off-Broadway, BITCH!DYKE!FAGHAG!WHORE! toured the world twice.
She has created many shows at PS122 including Bad Reputation, Sunday Afternoon Tea with Penny Arcade and Quentin Crisp and New York Values, and from 1999 to 2005, with her then husband Chris Rael of indie-pop group Church of Betty, paired texts and music to create, Rebellion Cabaret.
A contemporary of Patti Smith and Debbie Harry, the late great Quentin Crisp named Arcade as his soul mate and the woman he most identified with. She is one of a handful of artists who created and continue to define performance art.
“You need to be able to see the alternative in order to live the alternative… And what’s being done now in all of the cities – all over the world – is removing the alternative, removing the bohemian, taking the rock and roll, the funk, the poetry right out of it,” says Arcade. “I no longer think one person can change the world, but you can certainly change the world around you. So show up!”
“if ever we need a new blast of that rebellious energy, we need it now.” – The Scotsman, UK
Conceived written and performed by Penny Arcade; designed and directed by Penny Arcade and Steve Zehentner, Longing Lasts Longer will be presented at the Adelaide Fringe Festival (12 February – 14 March 2016), before playing at WTF16, Brisbane (18 – 20 February 2016), and the Melbourne Comedy Festival (23 March – 17 April 2016).
Image: Penny Arcade (supplied)