Drugs kept me alive is a monologue about a survivor — a man, exploring all the escape routes. His compass needle directs him to all the short-cuts between heaven and hell so he always remains one step ahead of the threatening scythe of death. His speed is his secret weapon, his sense of humour a strong drug and his accomplices have taken their illustrious names from the upperworld: they are ecstasy, ketamine, GBH, poppers, speed, cocaine, 2C-B, 2C-1, 2C-7, …
With these nose crystals, blood itchers and brain blinders, he leaps down into the magma of what keeps him alive: that churning desire of permanent intoxication. He travels in a gigantic airship, high above the clouds, mooring at cloud castles, which seem to continuously change. He creates fata morganas which seem to lovingly envelope him and which inspire intense happiness. Yet it is precisely this ethereal intensity, which fuels his obsessive desire. An intensity that is replete of a certain purity: it is sheer ecstasy. What a strange sensation that something can be so vague and yet so transparent at the same time. Like a soap bubble, which you can slowly wrap around your skin, so you are gradually submerged allowing you to disappear. This bubble is his second nature, a capsule where the silence is deafening and where death cannot touch him.
But the ultimate pleasure, a state that is beyond ecstasy is suddenly within reach when the drugs of the upperworld are mixed with those of the underworld.
In Drugs kept me alive Jan Fabre describes a mortal, a life that is teetering on the edge of death. The closer to death, the more pills, sachets and drinks are needed to undershore this life. This is the condition of the protagonist in this monologue: he has looked death in the face and he has decided that he’s up for a game of poker with the disease in his body: drugs kept me alive.
The monologue was written for Antony Rizzi, a born performer, with whom Fabre has also collaborated on The Sound of one hand clapping, Glowing icons, Da un altra faccia del tempo, Histoire des larmes, Orgy of tolerance.
text, direction, scenography: Jan Fabre / performer: Antony Rizzi / dramaturgy: Miet Martens / music: Dimitri Brusselmans / costume: Andrea Kränzlin / technical coordination: Geert Van der Auwera / technician: Tim Thielemans / production & tour manager: Helmut Van den Meersschaut, Katrien Bruyneel / production: Troubleyn/Jan Fabre (Antwerp, BE) in coproduction with: Maribor 2012 (European Capital of Culture - SI)
première 09.05.2012, Maribor Cultural Capital 2012, Maribor