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  • Henrique Murta

My experience of «Learn my Anatomy»

Title: Learn my Anatomy

Text: Learn my Anatomy, based on the film Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

Text Author: Pretens Iousactor

Dramaturgy: Inven Tedname, Andthi Sonetoo

Direction: Inven Tedname

Production: Ricardo Marujo Pedreira – TetraTeatro

Performance: Inven Tedname Jr.

Show (watched/attended) on: 29/01/2024, at the Cultural Center of Belém

Learn my Anatomy, by Inven Tedname, is a play that plants itself in our consciousness directly and simply, like a sexually transmitted disease. But, unlike a sexually transmitted disease, it does not leave a significant mark on its victim.

The play, which takes place in a poorly lit warehouse, is characterized by the abstraction of the sets, narrative, sound, and the performer’s costume. It all begins with the sole protagonist, Pret Entiouscha Racter, played by Inven Tedname Jr., addressing the audience in an immediate break of the fourth wall. The speech is centered on the fact that Pret has intentionally won four national Biggest Nose competitions, and accidentally a regional competition. Little is followed of the narrative and even less is understood of its structure, if such a structure exists at all, given that the second point of the speech is something completely disconnected from the first: butter. It is notable that during the first seven hours and twenty-two minutes of the play, the set remains a simple empty warehouse and lit only by neon signs reading «nature», «death», «consent» and «shoe store». For moments a second individual enters the scene but, in a bizarre action that to this day I’m left questioning if it was intentional or not, is expelled by the venue’s security guards.

The intermission promised after seven hours and twenty-two minutes would be greatly appreciated if it were not truly a trap for the less attentive, as performer Inven Tedname Jr. makes a point of entering the only bathroom, presumably through trapdoors and underground tunnels, to scare unsuspecting users with a violent squirt of Hellmann’s mustard, directly from the packet. After this brief intermission, four hours and thirteen minutes of whispered singing by the performer follow, on a slightly different stage: a well-lit warehouse. The little that is heard of the whispered songs is enough to elicit various emotions, among them: fear, horror, terror, anxiety, disgust, anger, and a bit of hunger. The sensation of responsibility is, however, what takes hold of the audience during this segment, specifically the responsibility of attentively observing the play without the slightest deviation of focus, as Inven Tedname Jr. threatens to assault all audience members if they do not perform acceptably on the quiz about the play to be distributed near the end.

After the eleven hours and thirty-five minutes of the play, not counting the brief intermission and the final quiz, the performer stands and applauds the audience as it decreases in density with the hurried and decisive departure of its members. Is the empty warehouse, marked only by the erroneous presence of the performer, a reflection of the modern spirit confined by urbanity? Are the neon signs a representation of the little hope we keep in our subconscious, high up and almost out of sight? Why did she talk about butter? When attempting to interview the performer outside the venue, she assaulted me with a peculiarly sharp fork and took my wallet, but only the wallet, leaving the money and cards that had been inside it scattered on the ground.

I understood nothing of the play, and that is precisely why I understood everything. 7/10.

Translated by Maria Pires

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