Opening day of the You Are Here Festival

Opening day of the You Are Here Festival, with a poetry reading to violin music By Perth artist Maitland Schnaars accompanied by Emma Kelly.  The event is set in a stuningly green courtyard with a bar in a  3 venue complex called Gorman Arts Centre.  He opens the poetry set with a tribute to his Ngnnnawal tribe in the noongah language.  He is thanking ‘good elders, good women and good warriors and senior men’ he later explains to me.  Schnaars’ boldly written ‘You Take A Sip’ wrestles with addictions in the self.  He delivers his performance with power, especially  the touching poem ‘Blood, Mud, Salt.’  The mountains in the distance and the grass we are sitting on serve the writing and the performance.

The next show is a physical theatre troupe from Melbourne in a piece called ‘Cut Snake.’ This is an inspired 3 hander about a man falling in love with a snake with loads of time travel and some very brave and acrobatic actors diving onto each others bodies.  The plot is complex and the way they make their sound cues vocally is especially interesting to me, as it transitions the theatre style between drama, cartoon comedy and dance.  The packed audience in an Edinburgh style venue loved it.

The closing show of the evening is called ‘She’s Lost Control.’  Its about head-banging in rock and heavy-metal music, and starts as a piece of lecture theatre about female hysteria with video clips, and then finishes with a dance piece.  Some audience members ‘headed for the hills’ during the lecture sequence, but I got into this show.  The three actresses, a theatre company called ‘Hissy Fit’ are fiercely committed to their work.
The next day, I enjoy the rehearsal for my play ‘Pretext’ as the actors have an authentic feeling for their characters.  I believe the story and the director includes me in the process very well.  We sit outside the back of the rehearsal room in a garden discussing the play with cups of tea on sofas.
Luckily, the director understands why I prefer the play without his prologue idea after I watch it a few times, and he is open to look at the play as written and has no trouble cutting the prologue.  Typical neurotic me.. there really was nothing to worry about in this collaboration.
I go to bed, thinking about my writing and how I might work on this script a little when I return to the U.K.  There’s a full day of events tomorrow starting in the morning with a dance event for children.  In the evening, they are mounting a 4 venue event with 18 bands and I overhear my lovely production manager host Nicki calling the security company to ensure the 4 security guards are in place.  Just the thought of producing 110 events in so many venues helps me off to sleep.
Phil Setren