theater simple @ The MooBaarn
7:30pm-ish, Thu 23 Feb 2006
This was always going to be hard to write about. Even before the performance, I knew it was going to be an intense and personal experience for me; after all, it involved my favourite starving artists, theater simple, mixing it up with a selection family and friends in our home (which hasn’t seen a decent-sized gathering for nearly six years).
Way back in November 2005, Andrew Litzky first floated the idea of a salon performance to us; we were both flabbergasted that such a thing could be done, and gladly accepted the proposition put forth. My SO and I carefully thought through the guest list, and were frankly surprised at the number of positive RSVPs we got. Frantic house cleaning, all the other prep work, a “production meeting” with Llysa, Andrew, Monique and Bob at Beyond India…
See that? That’s a real, live, production meeting sketch. Or something.
…the usual last-minute doubts, and then… the night was upon us.
After Andrew introduced himself to the crowd and laid down the house rules for the evening, Llysa came downstairs to engage in the performance… and what a performance! Cornered in our kitchen in an armchair, she evokes the labyrinthine story of a delusional reporter in a far-off land, who has seen too much and is questioning all she believes in; all she has been raised to believe. The underlying theme seemed to be: how can I bear to have so much, when others have so little? A particularly poignant query when posed in your own house!
Everything about this performance was sublime, all-enveloping; and, despite the location, it possessed all the hallmarks of a classic theater simple production. Prop usage was minimal, relying on a table-lamp and requisite beverages; the lamp coming into its own as dusk closed over the house, drawing focus into Llysa as the performance progressed. Just… riveting.
And then… the performance is over. I was grinning like a loon; it was such a great show, such fabulous theatre. In my house. Friends coming up to me, telling me how happy I looked – that wasn’t happiness, that was sheer delight. Delight that such an event could happen.
Then the drinks really started to flow. Catching up with old friends, realising that I hadn’t had any lunch. Or dinner. And simply not being able to thank theater simple enough – because it’s almost impossible to do so.
Well, what else can I say about this? It was an utterly amazing and unique experience. But here’s the pearler for me: hunting down some phone numbers for stragglers, I had cause to pop upstairs in The MooBaarn. There, in one of the rooms, I spied Llysa prepping for the performance. That insight, that snippet, that fragment will always remain so dearly personal and precious to me.