Dare-Devil of the Impossible


 

Karr Krow

Tales of a local Man of Mystery whose key elements are dangerous stunts with fire, knives and spikes have been going around in private circles, yet no-one seemed to know where I could ever witness such an ?enfant terrible? for my own contentment.
 
This Halloween I happened to come across The Man himself. It happened by sheer chance during a gathering of the local Gothic scene, where Karr Krow was one of the expected attractions.
 
Krow?s stage show was introduced as ?Spooky Theatre?. I was expecting the usual masquerade of ghosts made out of white sheets, annoying goblins garbed in fake green masks, and screaming ghouls that resemble malformed clowns. Yet what I saw was of the unexpected. Instead of a carnivalesque parade, Krow presents a Gothic drama of real-life emotions. Stories of fear, desire, grief, sorrow and anger unfold, as a macabre storyteller introduces every sequence.

The unaware audience is invited to follow every footstep, and explore Krow?s world of feelings. Somehow all the bizarre situations make complete sense. Krow opens a window to a bedroom scene with a sequence that shows how seduction can lead to dangerous foreplay with a metal chain.

As time passes by, his woman?s love for him fades away, and he is rejected mercilessly for a new lover. He tries to take his life away as he slashes his arm with a sharp knife, but is saved by his faith in God. All this adorned with beautiful costumes from the Gothic age, and strewn with dance sequences, gracefully merged within the storyline and action.
 
All this left me with a peaking curiosity. What drives a man to portray his own passions in such a raw and unshielded manner? I had to meet The Man and ask questions. And so I did.
 
Void of his Gothic make-up, Krow looks much younger than his actual thirty-something years. Indeed, he looks more akin of a boy-band cutie than a man living on the edge. But this is just an illusion, as even without his black & white face paint he can still perform wonders and thrill you to no end, like when he proceeds to hammer a steel nail into his nostril or eat razor blades and wash them down with coffee! Krow, a keen student of Egyptology, says that the nail stunt is a development of his interest in the process of mummification.

Ancient Egyptians used to remove the brain out of bodies in the process of embalming the dead, by inserting a hook through the nostril and pulling it out through the nose. ?I wanted to explore this unique feeling. It took me 7 years to drive a 5 inch nail all the way through. It is not something anyone can do, unless you have total control over your inner fears.? At 14 years of age Krow used to put loose beads in his mouth, eat a piece of string, and pull out a necklace; a trick that brought him much attention during his school days. Today he replaced the beads with needles and razor blades!
 
The stage persona of Karr Krow was born when he was asked to do a stage representation of James O’Barr’s graphic novel ?The Crow?. After witnessing all the doom drama, chilling thrill, dark suspense and special…


 

Karr Krow

Tales of a local Man of Mystery whose key elements are dangerous stunts with fire, knives and spikes have been going around in private circles, yet no-one seemed to know where I could ever witness such an ?enfant terrible? for my own contentment.
 
This Halloween I happened to come across The Man himself. It happened by sheer chance during a gathering of the local Gothic scene, where Karr Krow was one of the expected attractions.
 
Krow?s stage show was introduced as ?Spooky Theatre?. I was expecting the usual masquerade of ghosts made out of white sheets, annoying goblins garbed in fake green masks, and screaming ghouls that resemble malformed clowns. Yet what I saw was of the unexpected. Instead of a carnivalesque parade, Krow presents a Gothic drama of real-life emotions. Stories of fear, desire, grief, sorrow and anger unfold, as a macabre storyteller introduces every sequence.

The unaware audience is invited to follow every footstep, and explore Krow?s world of feelings. Somehow all the bizarre situations make complete sense. Krow opens a window to a bedroom scene with a sequence that shows how seduction can lead to dangerous foreplay with a metal chain.

As time passes by, his woman?s love for him fades away, and he is rejected mercilessly for a new lover. He tries to take his life away as he slashes his arm with a sharp knife, but is saved by his faith in God. All this adorned with beautiful costumes from the Gothic age, and strewn with dance sequences, gracefully merged within the storyline and action.
 
All this left me with a peaking curiosity. What drives a man to portray his own passions in such a raw and unshielded manner? I had to meet The Man and ask questions. And so I did.
 
Void of his Gothic make-up, Krow looks much younger than his actual thirty-something years. Indeed, he looks more akin of a boy-band cutie than a man living on the edge. But this is just an illusion, as even without his black & white face paint he can still perform wonders and thrill you to no end, like when he proceeds to hammer a steel nail into his nostril or eat razor blades and wash them down with coffee! Krow, a keen student of Egyptology, says that the nail stunt is a development of his interest in the process of mummification.

Ancient Egyptians used to remove the brain out of bodies in the process of embalming the dead, by inserting a hook through the nostril and pulling it out through the nose. ?I wanted to explore this unique feeling. It took me 7 years to drive a 5 inch nail all the way through. It is not something anyone can do, unless you have total control over your inner fears.? At 14 years of age Krow used to put loose beads in his mouth, eat a piece of string, and pull out a necklace; a trick that brought him much attention during his school days. Today he replaced the beads with needles and razor blades!
 
The stage persona of Karr Krow was born when he was asked to do a stage representation of James O’Barr’s graphic novel ?The Crow?. After witnessing all the doom drama, chilling thrill, dark suspense and special effects Krow managed to enlist, the press labelled him ?Dare-Devil of the Impossible?, a nickname he immediately fell in love with. Yet, how does something so unique on our islands and totally out of the norm like his current stage show ?Heartache? come to life? ?The show didn?t develop; it?s a glimpse in my past, experiences I came across, and built on my own personal feelings?. Indeed Krow explains that the stories in his show change with every performance, and the endings are often decided minutes prior to curtain call.

?I don?t act. I prefer to live my feelings, and hence every story reflects my mood of the day.? Whatever the outcome, one cannot dismiss the many special effects which definitely give a boost to the visual aspect of this production. Krow builds his own stage props and effects, having had the opportunity to study with BBC props-men Philppe Kapinen and Henry Brittan. These effects enable Krow to sprinkle his creations with symbolism such as when his hand bursts in flames to capitalise on anger, or when a white flower spontaneously burns to illustrate the end of chaste love.
 
Local alternative theatre is on the rise, and productions like the ones proposed by Karr Krow and his team of dream weavers are much needed as they are creating new standards and challenge the ?everyday? shows to rethink the way of catching the attention of their audiences.
 
( Marisa Grima is a freelance journalist whose work has been published internationally. More info on Karr Krow is available on http://krow.krayz.info )

 

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