My trip has also been made possible by support from The Touring Network Federation of Scottish Theatre and North East Arts Touring (NEAT), so huge thanks to these wonderful organisations for proving Go and See grants which covered travel expenses and some Per Diem costs. All beer and wine – my own expense!
Back to the theatre and I spent a lovely, air-conditioned evening at The National Wine Centre for 3 shows back to back. Talofa Papa was a production by a company from New Zealand based on Samoan culture. Very, very gentle piece about an old man gathering his family together (the audience) to celebrate his dead wife’s birthday. It took a long time to get going and was basically a very simple show about remembering and showing respect to loved ones. Plus point, everyone received a garland made out of sweets!
On to Anna Nicholson – Woman of the Year. This was great! Excellent character acting and quality singing too. Four women have been nominated for Woman of the Year – Denise, a jolly ladies’ outfitter, Bianca, a self-obsessed instagram vlogger, Ruth, a happy clappy vicar who has a grumbling rivalry with the vicar in her neighbouring parish and Shirley, an older woman with a life-long passion for sex. Very well-acted and great audience engagement. This would be a very good fit for rural touring and could be extended easily to make a show with interval as opposed to the straight hour. Highly recommended.
Then Umbrella Man. I come all the way to Adelaide to meet a performer from Rosemarkie in the Black Isle! Colin Bramwell is a performance poet and musician and he has created a wacky piece about a man who believes the Earth is Flat. It is a surreal, unnerving, but very engaging show by a very talented poet and musician – and all delivered, unashamedly, in a broad Rosemarkie accent! We had a good chat afterwards and there may be scope for extending the act to include a performance of the show, plus support from some local poets or a singer/songwriter. Highly recommended.