Diary 15 September 2010. Sydney Fringe Festival – bursting out of the inner west suburbs. Or something like that which is the tag line. Bursting out into the art deco Petersham Town Hall which is echoing with the voices of the few who have shown up. The ceiling is magnificent. The tiling is gorgeous. Mr Jacket and Scarf nicely tells me the Blue Room i s now open and I am welcome to move out of this echoing chamber and to take a seat. A personal invitation no less. Best I do, but the thin crowd is unlikely to crush me to the door. I take a seat near the sound box. I don’t think I have been in a theatre this small since I sat in the Ipswich Little Theatre – interestingly enough also from the art deco period and designed by Burley Griffin, the chap who designed the layout of Canberra. It was once a crematorium – the Little Theatre that is, not Canberra. Though that is debatable I guess. But on that occasion I knew what I was getting into. Here, well who knows what is about to unfold. The sound guy is also the lighting guy and he has just been stage whispered to start when the music stops. It is an intimate place after all. It’s cute music. Sort of Frente like.
Our audience is an eclectic bunch but I suspect we are mainly in the company of family and friends of the author and artists. A confused bunch who uncertainly try and work out where they are to sit and where to perch their glasses of wine. Indeed the Allure of Disgrace is also the Odour of Chardonnay. Ah, don’t set the scene just yet. Music slowly plinks along, almost stops. Maybe it is being looped to drag out the start – maybe a few others will drift in and the crowd will flesh out. Mr Jacket and Scarf asks us in a gentle voice to turn off our mobile phones. I think the softly plinking music drowned him out. Mr Sound Guy has gone to sleep I fear. Ah, here we go, seems we are under way…
The most perfect kiss under the blossom tree. What do you think of God? What do you want to do when you grow up? Why is it that we keep coming here. We always come here. But nothing’s changed. That’s the point. I just wanted to feel needed. (Or was it wanted?)
I am pleasantly startled by the depth of this writing.
I wouldn’t mind believing in God but I don’t want all the rules that go with him. That has more to do with people than God.
This is an outstanding interaction of two friends. One dreamy, the other grounded. It’s easy and natural script is deceptively complex. Two friends to’ing and fro’ing. On God. On death. On fear of death. (I am scared that it will happen suddenly. Before I can do anything memorable and no one will care). Life and God and relationships. Aha, I finally twig that the ‘narrator’ is remembering a lost love while her friend wants to be here now.
I want to live with dignity. I want something real. Why is it that we always come here? We are lonely. We expect answers? We are looking for answers. We are looking for an epiphany. What have we learned? Nothing we have not learned before.
A jet takes off overhead and the roof shakes – they pause in their dialogue and it is a break as easy and as natural as the conversation on which we have been eavesdropping. They are very good.
Well, that was a complete and surprising revelation. Exceptionally good. If this is the standard then think I need more “fringe”.