Ep 34 – Personal, Fleabag

An intriguing pair of one-woman shows are discussed: Jodee Mundy’s “Personal” at Arts House plus “Fleabag” by Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the Malthouse. Are family tragedies always comic? At intermission, contemporary art in Kyneton and “Unsane” on Soderbergh’s phone. And masterpieces are on their way from somewhere else to Melbourne, again. Speaking of Melbourne, the podcast endorses its preferred Lord Mayor! Thanks for listening to our podcast. 

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Ep 34 – Personal, Fleabag Transcript

(soft electronic intro music plays – fades)

Carla: Hello and welcome to your next episode of Across the Aisle. It’s our 34th which is close to 36.

Philip: It is.

Carla: Which means we are nearing the end of our third season. Can you believe it Phil?

Philip: It’s big. It’s long.

Carla: Indeed. That was of course Philip Thiel, my favourite choirboy and bon vivant. We are freezing today on what feels like the first proper cold morning for the season. Well perhaps it’s been so long since I’ve been out of bed before 9 a.m. It’s already been winter for quite some time. In any event we are loving snuggling with our loved ones, lusted ones and fellow theatre-goers slowly sliding into these deep dark months. And the way they feel is appropriate to the shows we’re going to be talking about. Family studies of two different kinds: Personal by Jody Mundee over at Art’s House in North Melbourne; and Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the Malthouse as part of International Comedy Festival. Is family tragedy always funny? As the writer Douglas Coupland says, family drama is the most universal thing there is: no one escapes.

Carla: Speaking of no escapes, as it’s almost the end of our third season this means it will be fundraising time soon. Each year we ask our listeners to subscribe financially to the podcast. It costs quite a bit of money to keep the lights on on this fabulous thing, so consider yourselves alerted. Please subscribe to all of our social media channels to find out when it is happening. We also have a new website – www.acrossaisle.com – and a mailing list so you can find out all of our recommendations for the things to see and experience in Melbourne. This comes out once a month so sign up and have a gander at the website. The biggest news is we have been nominated as a finalist for the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards. Yeah! Head over to our Facebook page to hear all about it. We are recording on the day of the awards so no news yet, but by the time you hear this we will know. It’s all been a bit hectic hasn’t it Phil?

Philip: Hectic and beautiful. I love the newsletter and the website. It’s so pretty! So informative.

Carla: Any other thoughts about all of our excitement before we jump in?

Philip: Well, I’m excited about this show. I agree that there are some intersections between the productions which will be interesting to tease out.

Carla: All right, well take it away!

Philip: Okay. We are at Art’s House in North Melbourne for Personal which is described as: “It wasn’t until Jodie Mundee was five years old and lost at Kmart that she realised the rest of her family was deaf. She didn’t see disability; only the love and protection of those closest to her. In Personal she conveys her experience as the only hearing person in a deaf family through a captivating blend of performance, storytelling, multimedia and animation. Mundee delves into the contradictions of inhabiting two worlds: living in a deaf family where using sign language is natural and living in a society that sees only the family’s disability with voyeuristic curiosity.” So this is a rare story and a really intriguing one.

Carla: Well I don’t think it’s a rare story per se, but it’s not something that we get to see.

Philip: Well I was just wondering how often it is true that a person is the only hearing person.

Carla: Yeah.

Philip: In a family where everyone else is deaf including the siblings. I just thought that that perspective was personal as the title of the play indicates right up front. And I’ve been thinking about that and how ultimately the stories that resonate for me most powerfully are always those stories that are told whole, that are authentic however unique or idiosyncratic the perspective is. If it’s done fully it really engages me and intrigues me; and I felt wonderfully out of place at this production. It was so intriguing and delightful to be in that foyer that I’ve been in so many times but so many different moods in the air. But with an audience that was more gestural, speaking differently, engaging with each other in this sort of multiple way that I wasn’t fully able to access. And indeed the production itself then continued in that mode. I’m wondering how much of a cliché this is… But there is something about signing and physical ways of conveying language that is really alluring and full of meaning even for those who are not schooled at that language. So I’m trying to be sort of non-dismissive about the precision of Auslan; but for a non-speaker of Auslan nonetheless there is something extra offered if somebody is speaking and also gesturing or alternating between those modes or having different levels of translation offered. So in this production at times there was more speaking than signing and then it would shift to the other side. Words appeared on the screen; sounds and images that were designed to be understandable by everyone in the audience kept intersecting and crossing on the stage in a totally non-chaotic way. In a way that was actually increasing engagement and understanding, I think for everyone who had gathered. And the response of the audience in all of its diversity I felt was really warm and positive. So that was a sort of affirmation in those applause that she had been getting something really complex right. And I think she would be one of those people best positioned to do that. As somebody who grew up bilingual, multilingual, surrounded by these different ways of making meaning. The play was very much about her memories. And there was something wonderful about the great footage – the home video footage – that she started the production with. You know, moving these bricks around to project old family footage onto just immediately took me back to the 80s and 90s. Those ways that people have of behaving when being filmed with those giant video cameras and the way that signing just became visually part of the story of this family in a way that sort of took us deeper and deeper into their specific way of communicating and their specific way of being a family. So I loved this performance. I found it wonderfully generous and thought-provoking and personal.

Carla: Yeah. I completely agree with everything you’ve said and I think you’ve picked up a lot of threads that I was thinking about during the show as well in terms of things like 90 percent of language is visual, so when you just add that extra 10 percent of literal language being signed, it’s still quite amazing how we communicate through the body. And I love shows like this. Thank God you have your eagle eye looking out for things like this because I feel like you’ve chosen quite a few things that we’ve seen that really take me out of where I am, what I’ve seen, what I’m indoctrinated into seeing on the stage in Melbourne, and just different people’s lives. I really loved that. And thinking about things like, you know, Jodi is 40ish, around my age, and they just had so much footage. They had footage from the day that she was born. I mean, families didn’t really have equipment like this back then and I thought well, if you were deaf the visual image is everything to you. So of course they probably saved up money to get a camera to record everything because they ingest the world through their eyes and touch. It’s their primary way of being in the world. So being able to experience someone else’s life so viscerally that is so different to mine is really rewarding to me. I also think that the production design, the dramaturgy, was really excellent. Again, not a format that I love – one person show – but they did a fantastic job of having visual aids, movement on the stage, big screens to project parts of the history onto. That could have very easily been almost a stand up routine. But it was put into 3D multimedia production in a way that was incredibly engaging for the multiple-ability audience that would go and see it.

Philip: But done carefully you know. Moving blocks around the stage sounds like a recipe for chaos. But the precision with which it was planned and performed was fantastic.

Carla: And also the the the bilingual production. It was a real representation, a meta-representation of her life, because the production was geared towards deaf people. There were portions of it that were not translated for hearing people, but it still felt very blended. And it was very funny and warm, all those stories from the childhood. Her issues with being the only hearing person and being relied on by the family to make phone calls from a very young age.

Philip: Oh, the phone call sequence. Going back to my thought about uniqueness and the way that I of course had never managed to think so far into an experience like this one that I would realise how hectic it could be to be relied on as a translator. As a child. She’s on the phone on behalf of her mother in this chaotic frantic way. The poor child!

Carla: Making really awkward phone calls like calling in sick for her mum, or making intimate appointments, or having people being really angry – relaying angry conversations back to her parents and how awkward that was for her. I think it was very kind of unflinching – unflinching but warm, her retelling of her childhood and the difficulties that it had, but also how special it was to her as well, quite clearly.

Philip: And the footage of her parents being interviewed was absolutely beautiful and I realised that I don’t actually see older deaf people represented very often. There was this long kind of single-take interview with the two parents where the performer sat facing them allowing us to sort of take her perspective on her parents. And as she signed at the video they signed back and there was this overwhelming sense of love and connection between the parents and their child, and an awareness back from the parents about the particular experience of their hearing child. This warmth and sense of empathy from the parents towards her as they sort of laughed about how noisy the house was. You know, the cuckoo clock going off halfway through their conversation. And you could just see from the parents, you know, we think about you you know. We are aware of what it means for you to be hearing in this place where you are the minority.

Carla: But it seems to be after years of being enraged and raging at her family. And in that way that’s a really universal concept, isn’t it? Because in every family there’s someone who feels completely alien and is constantly trying to be recognised for who they are, separate to the flock.

Philip: The black sheep, absolutely. And separately, but you’re making me think about this sort of universality of the story. The way that the family home is so secret. In Australian white culture there is such a division between households that to gain access to stories like the phone call stories just brings to mind all of my own family’s unique hidden stuff which happens to be to do with living in a manse, you know, which is accessible in a different way because it’s owned by the church. And people rock up to make curtains and there’s someone mowing the lawn that you’ve never seen before. But every family, every household will have some kind of version of that which is unknown, right? So for us to gain access to this family – whatever type of family it is – was was really generous, and as you say, quite universal through the specific.

Carla: And the thing that I really loved about it as well is, this was just a very normal family. Both parents worked, they owned their own home, they had a large family. Every single person in that family except for Jodee was deaf. But they just had a very normal life. And I think a lot of people wouldn’t really conceptualise that either, particularly pre- a lot of the technology that we have now. So I thought that sort of normalisation was fantastic. But then also the other side that I really thought about as well was how much technology has really changed the world for people living with disabilities. You know, like how back in the day they used to have to have like a little telex type phone but you’d have to call a service that had it in order to communicate in that way. It was a really excellent window into a world that I have not had much contact with.

Philip: Yeah. And thinking more about that sort of normalness of this family, the hilarious footage of Jodee as a child being interviewed, maybe for the local telly or something, by, you know, a fabulous school librarian type teacher woman with other school kids behind her and all of the questions assume that there’s going to be some spectacular intriguing alluring narrative. And the kids just going: “Yep, um okay, yeah, the phone makes words that are the words and we read them, you know? Why would this kid find that intriguing or fascinating? She’s been alive for six years and that’s what that’s her story, that’s her place.

Carla: Thank God you brought that up, because I think that that’s ultimately the crux of the play: that she never thought she was different, until the world systematically told her otherwise, you know? And that is where the concept of disability comes from, because people aren’t “disabled.” It’s just that our infrastructure and our world cannot accommodate people with different ability.

Philip: Yes, Kmart!

Carla: And that is the process of disability for these people, for people living with many different versions of things that are not mainstream abilities.

Philip: And how remarkable that she can launch her show with that story told warmly and for laughs, authentically non bitterly. It was a story that was the perfect opening for a play like this. You’re in Kmart and they’re calling for your mother with a microphone because you’re lost and at the front desk, and you haven’t registered [that shouldn’t be able to hear it]. You haven’t gone that far in your own understanding, so you’re just waiting for your mum. Beautiful.

Carla: Thank you so much for choosing the show. I absolutely loved it.

Philip: Me too.

Carla: You ready for Intermission, Phil?

Philip: Intermission!

Carla: Do you know what I really loved as well? I don’t know whether I was hyper-aware but I felt like Arts House had lots more signage during that performance, as well. Like, at the actual candy bar kind of thing like listing of what was available. What would you like?

Philip: Pilsener, thanks. I’m exploring really really bitter things, including beer.

Carla: I was going to say: On message. What have you got to talk to me about?

Philip: I had a little trip to the country, to Kyneton, a couple of weekends back. An old friend from Adelaide Tom Borgas is an artist. He was in the Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial, which was on for the first time. The inaugural KCAT, as they’re calling it, which was fantastic and I can’t wait for the next one, in three years I guess. It’s over now, but they’ve got lots of great social media that you can look up and see the things that were happening. It was contemporary and authentically contemporary, against the backdrop of a town which is full of antique shops and op-shops and that authentic sort of regional Victorian tone. So that juxtaposition was fantastic and enjoyable. Great outdoors things. A walking map – the idea was that you would sort of see it all in an afternoon and finish with a beer at the Piper Street bar or whatever. There was a walking around quality to it. And and there was some wonderful things. I mean, homes were used as gallery spaces. There were elements that were very local. So a group of people had come in from Sydney to hear ideas from local women about what could be commemorated differently in Kyneton if women were in charge of public commemorations and they performed a kind of installation around those ideas. I was thrilled to see that and I bought a painting too. So yay!

Carla: Did you catch the train?

Philip: I went with my friend who has a car. It’s got a nice train station there, though, You could have done it with V-line.

Carla: It’s very easy. I feel like it adds to the experience, getting the V-line.

Philip: What about you?

Carla: Okay so what have I been doing? School school school. But I’ve got a couple of things that I want to mention. Steven Soderbergh’s new film “Unsane” is out. I haven’t covered it on my other podcast yet, but it’s a really dumb, fun, asylum horror film and it’s shot on an iPhone. You do kind of obsess about that for the first 20 minutes and then you forget, which is a good thing. It does look like shit a little bit, but I think it’s an interesting – look it’s just super fun, and I’m a bit squeamish, But I’m daring myself to get more into horror because I think it has a bad rap – shout-out Briony Kidd who’s the director of this women’s horror film festival (Stranger with my Face) in Tasmania. She’s been encouraging me. She’s like: it’s not as gross as you think. It’s a lot more fun. There’s a lot of movies out there that aren’t misogynistic, get into it. So I would definitely say “Unsane” is in that category: have a lot of fun. The couple of other things I wanna mention: I’m really trying to delve more deep into my education about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, art, history, everything like that. So I have started listening to a show on Radio National called Awaye, with an E on the end. It’s an art show about Indigenous art practice, really heavily women-oriented, lots of cool interviews. I’m just learning so much and is a through listening to it. It is podcastable. You can just pop it into whatever you listen to this on. It’s called Awaye. And the last thing I want to mention, and I don’t know if you know this Phil, but Katie Sfetkidis who we really interviewed on this show is running for mayor. Vote now! She is an artist we have interviewed on the show before, she’s a lighting designer and creative producer – well, part of the partnership that is Little One’s Theatre. And she is a running for mayor! And her whole platform is an arts-based platform because we are an arts city.

Philip: I can’t wait for the future under Katie. Our city is just going to flourish.

Carla: I know. Hopefully we get more grant money. So vote one Katie.

Philip: Absolutely. Did you see any comedy at the festival?

Carla: No nothing.

Philip: I saw the Aspie Hour.

Carla: Oh how was that?

Philip: It was a triumph, and is being revived at the Butterfly Club right now. Like the first show we talked about, Personal, it was just true to the experience and perspective of the two performers who were both really into musicals…

Carla: In only the way an Aspie person can be?

Philip: That’s it, it’s about that. And it’s quite beautifully performed full of great numbers. So if it returns again, or whatever they do next, look for the Aspie Hour. I think they have a newsletter out for their next steps. It’s an exciting little pair.

Carla: Okay great. Uh – I think we’ve gotta go.

Philip: More shows!

Carla: Our second show is Fleabag. This was a play before it was a TV show. And it was Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show. And its little blurb says: “Fleabag may seem oversexed, emotionally unfiltered and self-obsessed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg with family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig-themed cafe struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose.” I recently watched the show before I saw the play, so I’ll be probably more interested to hear what you have to say about it Phil. But, again, it’s another one-woman show. It’s so weird for the same episode. Another one-woman show that I thought was very successful. It was performed by Maddie Rice and she’s been treading the stage all over the country doing this show. So we got the last leg of it. I just marvel at these performers and the amount of dialogue that they can remember and to do this show day after day for months on end with the same level of energy. I thought her performance was absolutely fantastic, with just a seat on the stage.

Carla: So basically Fleabag is in her mid-to-late 20s, she’s fucking the pain away. She’s a total mess, which I think is pretty universal for everybody in their 20s, maybe? I’m not sure. Maybe just the people I know. Her best friend has died, the person who she had the guinea pig-themed cafe with. She found out someone had been fucking her boyfriend, and so she walked into a bike lane just to get messed up a little bit so that she could deny him seeing her in hospital. But in the end she flipped into traffic and was hit by a bus. So it’s a pretty grim, fantastical premise. But ultimately I think that this show is about grief, and how grief can really take us away from ourselves and our lives and create us into something that is almost quite other. And then, depending on how kind of together you are or the support network that you have, can have really dire consequences for you if you don’t have a good support network. If you don’t have a very solid sense of self which I don’t think anybody does in their 20s. And I think that that’s really the message of this show. What did you think Phil?

Philip: Yeah. And following on from that there is focus I think on the specific context for young women. The show opens and closes in a job interview scene with a man. And so the questions around power are sort of gendered from the start. She says I think even as part of that discussion that sort of goes off the rails: “I’m not obsessed by sex, I just can’t stop thinking about it.” And it’s really at the forefront at least of the opening of this play. The idea that sexual voraciousness might be something that women have not talked about as much as they now can and there might be lots and lots to hear about or think about including in theatrical spaces. I think that was sort of muted more as the show went on, and it might be simplistic off me, but I was actually really looking forward to hearing more about that aspect of the character. You know, what it means to be promiscuous and exploratory as a woman at that age in England. Because I found this very English.

Carla: It’s extremely English.

Philip: Yeah. It’s got the comedy and the voices, the awkwardness, the politeness, the sudden oversharing, the drunkenness, you know – those elements of English culture were really present.

Carla: Repression.

Philip: Well exactly. To summarise, exactly. But overlaid with an interesting sort of “Bridesmaids”-y quality. Like there was a puking story told at length. There was this sense of the body and secretions and the comedy that’s possible. I was so fascinated that it was programmed at Comedy Festival. You know, because you started the show by asking about whether family tragedy and trauma is always funny. This was definitely pushing it as far as you could in terms of both directions.

Carla: It was very black, which I think is very English as well.

Philip: Indeed. The stuff about the sexual body being something that she feels is perhaps all that she has left somehow, that she’s excluded from other forms of power and wants to really explore pushing that side of things as much as she can, was made really interestingly explicit when she talked about sexting as a kind of labour, you know, a kind of job that she needed to do. Just making all of these contacts and returning as often as needed to keep that buzzing and bubbling over on the side. Really fascinating. I found the writing wonderful – very naturalistic; got the voice just right. Apparently this performer got the part  within a minute or so of auditioning. Maddie Rice just stepped into the room and they were like “Yep, cool. This is you.” She was a perfect fit. And the trauma and tragedy and grief element I was a little bit frustrated by, because it stayed ambiguous for a very long time. You know, she didn’t quite find the language to tell us or share with us the whole story of what had happened. There was a suspense element to exactly what the accident was and the connection to the cafe. So there was a sense of slow build towards the reveal which meant that there couldn’t be. And this was a dramatic choice. There just couldn’t be clarity and sharpness about exactly what it means to have exactly that experience. I guess that’s the trade-off when you’re writing a show, that if you want to have something revealed – and there is stuff revealed towards the end of this production – then you miss the opportunity to explore perhaps the connection between her sex life and her experience of grief, for example. But I’m doing that now, right? Retrospectively.

Carla: No, I completely agree with you. And the thing is is that I’ve wanted to hear you talk first because it’s difficult for me to sift and sort what is, you know, in comparison from the TV show to the play. So the play is actually a lot darker. The TV show is a lot longer, obviously, and more sort of deep-diving. But the thing that we understand at the end of it is that it was actually her that had sex with the best friend’s boyfriend. And I think that’s where the title of Fleabag comes from. But what is not delved into in the play as much as it is in the TV show – although it is talked about – but there is this backgrounding of her father’s death. You know, her mother’s death. And that her mother had died three years previous. So to me it felt like the show was just like, basically, this chick is a fucking mess. She’s dealing with her grief in sex addiction, essentially. A lot of people take to the bottle or drugs or whatever vice to kind of get the dopamine going. But I felt like the TV show was much more nuanced in sort of centering that perhaps this behavior had begun with the very young death of her mother, and had just escalated through repression and not dealing with it to the point that she then had sex with… She does the most destructive thing that she can possibly think possible which is sleep with her best friend’s boyfriend. And now this is the consequences of that.

Philip: Got it. So the cost becomes really literal. Yeah.

Carla: And that kind of escalation I don’t think was very well represented in the play.

Philip: Well it was fragmented. And so you got a sense over time that the father… I mean there’s a scene of encounter with her father where there’s all of this doubt around exactly what is going on and what the story is there that leads to a kind of broad suspicion that she has of men and of polite men in particular. So there’s this man who comes into the guinea pig themed cafe and he seems to be building a sense of trust with her over time. But then that is also ruined. And it’s almost haunted from the opening scene where she’s being interviewed, interrogated by a man who has all of the power over her. You do get a strong visceral sense as an audience member that her perspective on the world is constrained, sort of hemmed in by these men who are at risk of destroying her. So the fact that the destruction, that central act of despair, death, accident, violence is around women’s relationships to each other, but through what men can do.

Carla: Yeah, you’re absolutely spot on. Because the thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot is, the world is changing but ultimately you know the constant message that you get as a woman is your worth is valued by… Is a direct correlation to how many people want to cum inside you, essentially, and how impregnable you are, essentially. So especially when you’re in your 20s – teenage years and 20s – where you don’t have any power in the world because you haven’t amassed any kind of cultural capital or financial capital, professional capital. This is the only capital that you have. And this is very realistically played out in this show. It’s taken to the nth degree because she’s in such a bad place, but she’s just clinging on to the only kind of capital that she has. And also at the same time it’s the only thing left that can make her feel anything.

Philip: And the way that the man or boy who sleeps with both of them is completely absent from the story is revealing, too. You know, these friends are doing what they can. Founding a little business, you know, pitching their personalities somehow as part of the product within that cute little guinea pig cafe. How exhausting! It’s labour-intensive to pull any of that off. And it seems so punishing that there would be tragedy.

Carla: And punishing is the right word, because you find out that she slept with the best friend’s boyfriend through her sister who says she can no longer trust her because of that, which is just a disgusting malignment of a woman who is in pain. Obviously she’s done something wrong and it’s had absolutely tragic consequences…

Philip: But so has he.

Carla: That’s exactly right. She could never have conceptualised that these would have been the consequences. But how is it her fault? How is it not both their fault?

Philip: And the play does a really good job of exploring the structure the way that this is not always just about a woman’s choice or a woman’s mistake. There are pressures that are real.

Carla: There are power structures that funnel people into these kinds of outcomes.

Philip: And guinea pigs will die.

Carla: That was so dark! A guinea pig does not die in the show, I can tell you that right now.

Philip: It’s a powerful symbol.

Carla: Oh my goodness.

Philip: Yeah. I had people blocking their ears.

Carla: Well that’s a first as well. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a show were a guinea pig dies. Did you find this funny? What was the balance for you?

Philip: Well, I find characters like this funny, generally. And the fact that I mentioned Bridesmaids before is is not nuanced as an intertextual reference, but there’s something about this moment, or maybe it’s sort of old now, but for the last five years or so there have been more angry and hilarious women pushing the line a little bit. And I’m enjoying it. And so I’m sort of predisposed to play along. When I saw that that was the character, I was in, and noticing what was comic about the dark story.

Carla: Yeah. Because it’s really interesting isn’t it? Because it’s really just… It’s a performance to say, well, isn’t this what you wanted? You know, I’ll fuck anything that moves, I’ll completely let go of all of my morals to be sexually available to every man who wants me. And yet you find me repulsive. Powerful.

Philip: Yeah yeah yeah. Really thoughtful.

Carla: I think you should watch the show. We can talk about it at an Intermission at some point.

Carla: Coming soon! What’s going on, Phil?

Philip: Well, tonight we’re going to the Australian Podcast Awards, Carla!

Carla: That’s coming very soon – seven hours’ time.

Philip: I am expecting literal red carpet.

Carla: Bloody better be!

Philip: Also coming soon are a few interesting Melbourne Winter Masterpieces.

Carla: What is it? Tell me.

Philip: It’s Alice in Wonderland.

Carla: Boring!

Philip: And MoMA.

Carla: Oh yeah, well, you know. Who hasn’t been to MoMA?

Philip: Cringe. Well I was looking at the NGV Magazine and they were sort of doing a New York and Melbourne: two cities with some things in common. I mean the level of cultural cringe is going to be cringe-worthy.

Carla: Look, it’s not for us, but I think a lot of other people will get a lot out of it.

Philip: I will secretly go.

Carla: Will you? That’s the thing, like every time I go to MoMA and every time I go to that third floor and I see the spillage of people over and I’m like: Starry Night, eye-roll. But I’m sure they’re going to bring it out here and everybody can get their fix.

Philip: I actually find it interesting because the NGV basically IS that.

Carla: Ha! I was like that is the most pretentious thing I’ve ever said. But you one-upped it.

Philip: I mean, there is good stuff currently at the Fed Square NGV, but there’s just been one every two to three years forever, the moment when a bit of Europe or a bit of America comes to us and we eat it up. I don’t want to not be part of that because if I’m not part of that what else is there?

Carla: FOMO.

Philip: That is Melbourne.

Carla: I just find it, like. I could, I could probably rattle off all of the works that are going to be there and all the artists that are going to be represented.

Philip: That’s deliberate. They want that, you know? You don’t even have to go into the building. They will plaster them all over the bluestone.

Carla: I can visualise walking through that exhibition right now, exactly what’s going to happen.

Philip: We could just do a kind of mindfulness meditation where we say the names of the works…

Carla: But, look, they have a huge storeroom. And of course they wouldn’t be lending out everything that’s on their permanent display. So you’re right. There could actually be some really amazing uncovered treasures that we don’t get to see because we don’t live in New York all the time and go to the rotating exhibitions. So, good point. Anything else?

Philip: No.

Carla: Okay, I’ve got a couple. Diane Arbus at Heide. Very much looking forward to that. I’m kind of very freaked out by artists that killed themselves. I don’t know why. Like I just find that… Maybe I project that onto their work all the time and I’m always looking for the sadness or whatever. But her work is so extraordinary. I am highly looking forward to that. Also a trip to Heide is always lovely. See you in the conversation pit. And – this is no word of a lie – I’m hyperbolic most of the time,but the thing that I have been waiting for my entire adult life is happening in June at the Arts Centre and it is John Cameron Mitchell singing all the songs from Hedwig, at Hamer Hall. I am stocking up on tissues now. I’m gonna be a fucking mess. I cannot actually believe that this is happening to me. So – hot tip: if you want to see me cry, or if you like Hedwig, get some tickets because there’s still some tickets left which I can’t believe.  I’m like, wow, there isn’t a city full of people who loved an obscure queer musical from the early 2000s gobbling up all the tickets.

Philip: Sorry, darling but you’re more niche than you think.

Carla: They’re my two Coming Soons.

Philip: Okay, see you you tonight!

(soft electronic outro music plays – fades to end of episode)

Carla: And that is that for this month’s episode for April 2018. Thank you for listening, as always. If you want to keep us on the air please be prepared to subscribe in July. We pay royalties to our theme music creator Mark Barrage. We pay for our SoundCloud hosting, website hosting, URL registration. And whatever is left we shower Ron from Shack West for all of our production amazingness. Thanks to everyone for their words of support and helping to grow our listenership. Without you, we wouldn’t have a podcast. See you next month.

Philip: Bye!