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We’re back baby! We went to a Fringe show, Memoir of a Tired Carer, and no one got Covid. Team Aisle also travelled to wilds of North Geelong Arena to see the Evonne Goolagong biographical play (feel good hit) Sunshine Super Girl. In Intermission we chat Fringe highlights, Bangarra Dance Theatre and experimental new opera The Lighthouse. In Coming Soon we recommend Bodies of WaterBeth Gibbeson – A Thread of LightLele and Richard Mosse – Broken Spectre (at NGV). Please join us with your favourite bevvie.

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  • Produced and recorded by Carla Donnelly and Philip Thiel
  • Theme composition Mark Barrage
  • Sound editing by Shackwest

Carla: Hello and welcome to Across the Aisle your monthly cultural dispatch. I’m your host, Carla Donnelly, and I am joined by bon vivant and sunshine super boy Philip Thiel. Hi Phil.

Phil: Hello.

Carla: After living in Geelong for over a year, we have finally brought Across the Aisle to the regions. We head to North Geelong Arena to see the Evonne Goolagong biographical play Sunshine Super Girl. Then it wouldn’t be October without cramming in a festival show. So we head to historic Trades Hall to witness Memoir of a Tired Carer. But before we dive in, Phil, how are you doing post Fringe judging?

Phil: Look, I love Melbourne Fringe Festival and it was such a delight to dive back in, go to the Hub, see some shows outside the theatre category and catch up with long lost theatregoing aficionados. So I am I am full to the brim with that old spark of being in places, at places, trying to get the latest tip, trying to get in on a pass at the last minute. Thrilled. Delighted. What a festival.

Carla: Yeah, let’s talk about that. An intermission. I was thinking we could talk about a couple of other shows, but I really want to just, I think, deep dive on. Yeah. Feeling a bit normal?

Phil: You know, that creeping feeling of what life is like.

Carla: Yeah. Or was like or can be like, yes. Yeah. Okay. All right. Well, without further ado, Phil, would you please introduce Memoir of a Tired Carer?

Phil: With pleasure. So our first show today is Memoir of a Tired Carer, which describes itself thus “Something lurks in the corners of this nursing home. It hides in the walls and creeps through doorways, unwelcome and shy, something forgotten long ago and left to waste away Waiting, pleading. James can say it. He’s not sure anyone else can. For three months he’s worked here. The pay is low. His bosses expect too much. His co-workers don’t give a damn and half of the residents are waiting around to die. It’s tough going.” So says the blurb. And tough going indeed is the content of this one person play by Oliver Bailey. So Oliver Bailey writes, directs, performs, does the lot and was going to do so when COVID struck a couple of years back and he made it into a very well regarded audio play. And this version of the play adds some stage elements to that. But essentially for me, this remains very much a hypnotic act of storytelling, very focused on this individual account and this particular performer’s voice. I saw quite a few one person shows during Fringe, and this was really up there in terms of using the capacity to speak on behalf of other characters in an effective and believable way.

Phil: So rather than having a number of people playing aged care residents, we simply get the nurse stepping into and out of their perspectives, describing what it means to move from room to room to interact with unethical colleagues and, you know, engage some of the surprising behaviour of those people who are at the last years of their life and potentially being overlooked by family members, certainly structurally by society and funding bodies. So the first thing is that we’re spending an hour genuinely confronting all of this stuff that is taboo in our culture, namely ageing, dying, what it means that those processes are done invisibly and without adequate levels of resourcing. And so as a wake up call, I think this was great political theatre. So firstly, I’ll say that it was successful in that regard. And secondly, in terms of a pace of writing this idea of embodying the energy of a place in visions of wolves.

Phil: In a sense of what is invisible and encroaching, but nonetheless tangible to this particularly sensitive and caring worker. I thought that sort of literary element of heightening the real with the visionary was quite effective. It was a mismatch with the staging, which was so downbeat and realistic. But certainly I connected in to those more esoteric ways of telling this really personal and quite dark story. How did you find the show?

Carla: Yeah, so I was, I’ve Fringe judged the last three years and this year I didn’t Fringe judge for a multitude of reasons, but I remember this radio play being very highly regarded last year, so I was very keen to check it out as long term, long time listeners of the show know I’m not that keen on one person plays, but also returning to Fringe, I think choosing a one person play is like pretty much the Fringe-iest thing you can do, right? So there was just so many sensual elements of that to me, like climbing the five sets of stairs up Trades Hall to the little tiny meeting room, essentially to see this very intimate show very intimately. Because you’re like practically, you could sniff the performer, you know, and that’s just all part of the magic for me. So I was I was a bit, I was confident it was going to be a good work. So I was able to relax just from a technical point of view. You know, I’m not a performer. I don’t create work. And I’m just so in awe of these kinds of works where, you know, the performer, Oliver Bailey, is just talking nonstop for an hour, performing nonstop for an hour.

Carla: Like I can’t even think how many tens of thousands of words of dialogue that he has memorized to perform this show. It’s just amazing to me, like I can’t actually get over the craft of it. Yeah. So I think overall, I think this is a great pick as well because it’s just so timely in terms of obviously COVID and the way that we care for each other and the way that we do or do not acknowledge the human body and where we choose to spend our money as a society in terms of medical innovation, research care. So, yeah, political theatre as well, beautiful being at Trades Hall, seeing this incredibly touching, tender telling, just very plain telling of what it’s like to be a nurse in a nursing home and the things that motivate the character of James. I think his name is, you know, around that he obviously just cares, absolutely cares. And, you know, there’s an overarching sort of commentary that they’re not doing it for the money, which is quite obvious because it’s very hard labour both physically and emotionally, and that they just want to make a difference. But that creates the question of why is that? How is that, you know?

Phil: Yeah. And what and what are the risks when there is so much agency given to these nurses? We’ve got a good one in this character.

Carla: Yes.

Phil: But he works with people who are not so good and are quite neglectful at times through exhaustion or apathy about the residents at this facility. So one of the subplots is quite distressing in terms of a woman who is essentially harmed through negligence of another worker. And there’s pressure on this guy to basically play along with overlooking the harm that has been done to a human being while she is ostensibly cared for. So that thread about the possibility of bad stuff happening because of invisibility, because of underfunding and exhaustion of workers is something that really has stayed with me and that I have been thinking about regarding the real risks that we are setting up sociologically, institutionally, by just hoping for the best and leaving it for the good people to be good and crossing our fingers about the elderly as they are cared for.

Carla: I don’t even think it is hoping for the best. I think it’s just this very cold, calculated calculation. Like I don’t even necessarily think the care that I mean, there was an incident obviously, where it’s ambiguous as to whether he purposely hit a resident or it was an accident. But there’s an overarching theme of due to cost pressures, time pressures, the capitalistic machine people find shortcuts. And we all know through you know, I worked in a factory for a very long time. We all know that that’s the most dangerous time. That’s when people lose a limb. That’s when people have a car accident. But the fact that we have relegated care or the function of care down to these binary dollars one, zero, zero is a travesty.

Phil: And that that just fundamentally dehumanizes even in your approach.

Carla: Everyone.

Phil: For everyone, but particularly those being cared for, you know, they just become a time limit and a problem and a process rather than a human being.

Carla: Yeah, and that’s something that James says in there that was just such a – it was off the cuff, but it smacked me in the face. And he says, you know, at shift change and because it’s such a churn and burn industry that people don’t stay very long, you know, he says “in the end, you know, just enough to get by every day of each”. These are people…

Phil: Exactly.

Carla: These are people with complex care, complex care needs.

Phil: Which is why I found it so compelling that the very opening. Moments of the play are about a person, quote unquote, shitting himself. Right. So like the most embodied but abject experience that a person can have, the most needy moment a person can be in is what really grounds this performance. And the reason I think the show is so compelling is that we are thinking about our own bodies and the bodies of those we love and the needs that we have as ultimately pathetic and dying beings. That’s what adds. In addition to that imagery around the wolves and the encroaching darkness, a really transcendent quality, paradoxically, to the stories that are being told here, like it’s people at their most needy, weak and embodied. And so that’s the point at which we kind of come full circle into something quite elevated and spiritual that I found beautiful in the end.

Carla: Yeah. And I think also ultimately another act of service, right? Oliver Bailey and directed by Kathryn Yates to take the time to create this work and perform it and to tell these stories is also another heightened active service for us as a as a collective. You know.

Phil: Absolutely.

Carla: And it’s such a gift. I think I just want to make some comments on the stagecraft. You know, Fringe is very limited. They have very limited resources. They’ve got very tight turnaround times. But I thought there was also very effective use of music lighting the direction was very good. I think obviously this plays is very well practiced. It’s been kicking around for quite some time. But overall, this is like when I think about Fringe and I think about how great and transcendent Fringe can be. This is the kind of work that I think about, and I just feel like it was such a gift.

Phil: And yes, indeed, thank you to all of those producers and sorry for naming the former as the director earlier in this conversation. These shows that are small scale, tight knit communal efforts where indeed they have to be in and out of the theatre in an hour. There’s something else coming all the time. I mean, I saw, you know, at least three shows in that room, all of which gave a sense of physical risk to me in the front row, like it’s really edge of your seat stuff going on there. Everything’s just so delightful, generous and impressive.

Carla: What a re-introduction to Fringe.

Phil: We’re back, baby.

Carla: And perhaps. Maybe. Let’s meet down in the very cold. Very well ventilated.

Phil: Yes. And the well decorated foyer too.

Carla: Indeed.

Phil: The glamour. It’s intermission. What’s our beverage of choice today? Are we getting one of those strange little sour beers?

Carla: Oh, you love those kinds of things, don’t you?

Phil: There was a ginger smash and a passionfruit smash, um, at the Fringe Hub.

Carla: I had. I had some delicious Thai food just before I went to my show, and I had a, like, a lychee mocktail. So that was that was.

Phil: Was that it?

Carla: Yeah. Ying Thai Two.

Phil: On Lygon St?

Carla: So good.

Phil: Oh, so only the best for you, Carla.

Carla: I’m from Sydney, man. I need good Thai food.

Phil: Yes, that is one of the best. I agree. My eating at Fringe experiences were more sort of based on what’s open at 10:15 p.m… Let’s go to China Bar on Russell Street.

Carla: And that’s all part of the experience as well, isn’t it?

Phil: Definitely.

Carla: It felt thrilling to be back. Like I was very nervous and then I was like, why didn’t I come and see more shows? Because there’s hardly any people in the audience. Like, what? What am I worried about?

Phil: Yes! You know, my goodness, I saw a show, um, which I really liked called “You’re all invited to my son Samuel’s fourth birthday party” and there were four people in the audience, which was complex enough, but then it was a show that was sort of about the audience with a lot of eye contact.

Carla: No, no.

Phil: And, I mean, I, I named that I namedrop that one because it is sort of a recommendation, if you see that around. I think it’s worth saying like a beautifully written and performed two hander, the theatre piece that actually won the prize in the category theatre was Grand Theft Theatre, and this is a strong recommendation if you see this, um, revived or restaged. I think you in particular, Carla would really like this. It’s created by Pony Cam, which is a collective and David Williams and it was essentially about theatre performances that have had an impact on people being restaged or re-enacted in fragments by this troupe.

Carla: How they remember it.

Phil: Is how they remember it. How many in one case, what it felt like to leave a particular theatre environment. Like the person had forgotten the film Chicago, but remembered leaving the particular cinema where she saw the film Chicago and who she was with and what it felt like. So yes, indeed, like breaking it right down into what stays in the memory. But putting that back onto the stage and inviting the audience to remember their own favourite shows or shows that have moved them and changed them, um, it was amazingly successful. Like as I recount those conditions, it sounds so risky, but they really pulled it off.

Carla: Well, you know, that sounds like the ultimate Cancerian show, first of all. But also like that is stuff that is ripe for the picking, right? Because it’s like when you go and see a show that completely changes your life, it it’s it’s so altering that even to tell the story of how it altered you is like intoxicating for other people.

Phil: You know, they somehow understood that and made a space for that and everyone was just in tears the whole time for that reason. Exactly. It’s primal. Yes. You know, the witnessing and recounting of something.

Carla: Well, and especially for us who are like, addicted to that feeling, it’s why we go and see these shows again and again, because also we want to be connected. We want that feeling. It’s really that feeling of connection, of being seen and being seen so utterly by a stranger, you know, that it makes us feel that connection to the divine, you know, that we all come from some mysterious place because how else can we touch each other in such a way, you know? And so of course, we’re like, that would be like, wow, the best show you’ve ever seen. Yes.

Phil: Indeed. But look, Carla, here we are talking about art with each other. The process continues, right? Like the act of reflecting and debriefing and recalling is very humanizing to me. Hey, we went to a show together, Sand Songs, Stories from the Great Sandy Desert.

Carla: Yes.

Phil: While we’re reminiscing, do you want to just give a note about that show? That was Bingara’s latest show.

Carla: So I’m pretty burned out on theatre and I don’t really know how I feel about it anymore, but I definitely know that the kinds of work that I still find really exciting is Indigenous work. So I’m really keen to see more from Bangarra and more from Ilbejerri. And this is my first proper Bangarra Show, I am absolutely ashamed to say, and it was so long ago that I can only kind of remember feelings. We’ll talk about Grand Theft Theatre. I was just I just remember feeling so impressed by the stagecraft. There was so much in there, like wire work and dance and so much facial expression and performance, like acting performance. The stage was incredible. Like the actual set itself. I Yeah, it’s so evocative and beautiful of the outback and different periods of time and so simple. I was just so wowed by the production. How did you experience it?

Phil: Wow, it is right, and I love that they’re okay with that, like in the program, but actually refer to 16 smoke machines, lots of gold paint. And it’s like, yes, serve that to us, please. And the way that the story was at the heart of the dance, I don’t know why I’m surprised by that. But you talk about acting. I’m talking about storytelling. This company knows how to convey complex meaning, like it’s so far beyond gesture or ritual. Like it’s very much about narrative, including and we haven’t even mentioned this yet, but including about colonisation, incarceration, disease, slavery. Right? So there are elements in this show that are telling the truth of the history of this country in a way that is incredibly generous because it is conveyed by Aboriginal performers and going even further remaining in that realm of the spectacle, welcoming us in through entertainment and enjoyment problematically, you know, to, to mate together and think about and see the impact of those historical events. So I thought Sound Song was just a triumph, but you do get the impression that everything they do is kind of at that pitch.

Carla: And they had it. They have a children’s show on at the moment that I was like super interested in, but it’s, it’s interactive, so I don’t have a child and I’m not going to go. But if there’s yeah, I’m just so keen to see more of their work and do it on the show, obviously. And also like I’m actually, kind of glad we ended up not doing that episode because it’s taken me so long of thinking about that show. It was such a different language in so many different ways that I’m used to, and it took me a long time to even like pick apart threads and think about it in a way that I could potentially even construct and articulate. Not so much argument, but description. And so now I feel a bit more literate and that I’ll be able to do it better justice the next time we go and see a Bangarra show.

Phil: I am in.

Carla: Yeah. And do you want to just quickly talk about the horror opera that I wasn’t able to attend? We were going to do an episode last month. But we were unable to.

Phil: Yes, the Lighthouse. That was a, that was a real curiosity. You know, it’s not only Fringe Festival that has some very low budget, very experimental student work. I mean, I took my partner Julien along and he was giving me a little bit of “huh”. I don’t really have much more to say, but Maxwell Davis was the composer. The score is valid. The number of instrumentalists was two and a half. There was a lot of male singing, which is not my favourite end of the operatic register. But if you’re into sort of salty sea mysteries, ha, you know, performed at full baritone, keep your eye out for another staging of The Lighthouse.

Carla: I love that you find these things to see Phil, it’s amazing. But I think, well, got to go and see another show.

Phil: Oh I’ve got to get the V-Line.

Carla: You better quick, you better jump on the train and get out at North Geelong for another adventure. Okay, this was my pick. And as I mentioned in the intro, I’ve been living in Geelong/Surf Coast for quite a while and it’s time we started seeing some work out here. I mean, ironically, this show is like touring the country and it’s going to be at the MTC very shortly, but still we got to feel, got to catch the vibe, which I’ll talk about later. And we went to North Geelong and this was actually at like a sports centre in North Geelong, which was so much a part of the experience in the stage setting. But this is Sunshine Super Girl and it’s about very famous Australian Indigenous tennis player. For those of our listeners who are overseas and the intro says “A young girl hits a ball against the chin wall of her family’s home. This is where it all began for Evonne Goolagong. Hers is a quintessentially Australian story about a girl from the bush who dared to dream and with the support of an outback farming town, rose to become the number one tennis player in the world and a household name by the age of 19. This landmark New Australian work is written and directed by Yorta Yorta going tokenized theatre maker Andrea James”. And as I said, it’s been traveling all around the country, major cities, outback towns and it’s coming to MTC in November.

Carla: So we ended up at this sort of performing sports centre where there’s a tennis court on the floor and it was seating banks on either side. And I think it really set the scene for the show and that’s how they prefer to stage it. They prefer to not have it just just on a theatre stage. And the way that it was set up was really well, like, I think again, like we were talking about Bangarra with the stagecraft and perhaps it’s just I’ve been in independent theatre land for too long. Phil But it was also just so nice to see a production that had such a big cash injection and so many bells and whistles and, you know, the court became the outback became the city. The projections onto the floor were just so incredible and so evocative in changing scenes. Look, this was, you know, I think a pretty quote unquote, upbeat telling of Evonne Goolagong life. I mean, obviously, she became very famous and she was very successful. But, you know, she was also an incredibly poor indigenous kid from the outback who experienced really horrible atrocities. And also being a woman, obviously, you know, living in fear of becoming a stolen kid. And then also I thought weirdly, there was also this kind of parallel where she became a stolen teenager by white people to become this tennis sensation. She moved from the outback at the age, I think of 14 or 15 to go and live with a wealthy white family in Sydney to train.

Carla: So there’s kind of lots of political elements and threads that you can pull there. And it wasn’t that it wasn’t talked about, but there was a lot of razzle dazzle around sexual assault and really horrible racist incidents that had happened to her that I felt was pretty off-putting. But it was incredibly well-performed, incredibly polished. I really enjoyed it. But I did find some of those moments very problematic. It kind of took me back to that whole what was that show that we saw Phil that we gave… The musical, The Seekers musical?

Carla: Because yeah, it kind of gave me a little bit of that sad distaste. But I guess, you know, it sounds like there’s been a lot of Indigenous people involved in the writing and direction and the telling. There’s obviously Indigenous people in the play, so I just have to trust that this was a way that they were able to find, to tell a well-rounded version of events of Evonne Goolagong life. And also it’s a little bit before my time, but you know, at my primary school, one of the house colours was Goolagong, you know. Yeah, so very aware of her. But I did get to learn a lot more about her life and her life story, so I thought that was really cool. How did you find the show, Phil?

Phil: Well, ditto to all of the above we’re amazingly aligned on this. And to the extent that I actually talked about the Seekers musical with friends heading back to Melbourne on that V Line train that night, there’s something going on with this format of nostalgic, upbeat storytelling for the quote unquote masses. Yeah, which is unfamiliar territory for you and me, but seems to be the kind of thing that a lot of people are getting out for. Part of the atmosphere of this Geelong tennis club environment was a whole host of people seemingly gathering for a meeting or a celebration, like they had nametags on and had made a massive group booking and were, you know, meeting up and having dinner beforehand and heading to the theatre and gossiping about it.

Carla: Oh, that was actually the, that was the GPAC. I don’t know, sponsors. So it was like all business people from Geelong and people who are financial supporters of GPAC were invited for like canapés and, you know. So yes, you’re completely on the money in terms of that.

Phil: And it was a great match for this show because the tennis court set matched with the 20th century nostalgia, really call to mind, you know, tennis courts behind the Uniting Church in a local suburb and the kinds of competitive banter that happen in those environments when someone really good comes along and we know the ending here too. So there’s no real suspense in the story. She is a champion. She’s going to triumph and we can just sort of buckle in and enjoy the ride. But as you say, that becomes problematic when there are those political elements marginalized to the sidelines. You know, the Freedom Rides of the 1960s are mentioned, but it’s not part of this story. There’s a black car that comes to the community to steal children, and the family successfully hides from that car. And so we’re not actually getting a holistic story of anyone’s sociological experience broadly. Like this is an exceptional sporting hero and it’s the story of what it means to be exceptional. You are sort of plucked as Evonne Goolagong was out of one community, placed into another high pressure environment and then kind of pushed to succeed. And to the extent that the show is a kind of festival, there’s the sense that the audience is retrospectively endorsing all of that. Yes. And that is indeed problematic. You know.

Carla: Yes.

Phil: There would be people with potentially rich cultural lives or more advocacy within their communities or etc., etc., ways of being a person who has a successful life as a non-Indigenous or indigenous person in these decades. That’s different to being the champion who goes and gets, you know, a prize in South Africa during the apartheid by being welcomed as like a temporary white person or something, you know, against the wishes of her mates who were telling her to protest apartheid by not participating. Right. So there’s all of these political elements of her story which are problematic, to say the least, and they’re included, as you say, they’re in the story. I learnt them from seeing this play. They’re not silenced, but they are. Almost sort of danced away in the final celebrations and trophy elevations. And so that was very much a part of my experience. Going back to the Seekers thing, there’s a way of telling a story really efficiently, which I find really annoying, which is a kind of archetypal way of telling stories. In the Seekers musical, it was a world tour where everybody got into different ethnic stereotypes as the seekers went around the world. Here it was a kind of family farewell to a daughter done in 5 seconds, followed by, you know, a trip to Wimbledon to win multiple trophies, told in 15 seconds. And that signature set of movements and gestures does depend on a kind of stereotyping, typecasting and summarizing, which I actually don’t enjoy as an audience member. I’d rather zoom in on one moment and get to the crux of it or the heart of it. But that’s not what these sweeping historical narratives are out to, to achieve. You know, I’m out of sync with the goals of a show like this, I guess.

Carla: Yeah. And I think perhaps, perhaps there is enough subtext in this that we’re not necessarily picking up not being Indigenous, but perhaps an Indigenous person watching this would, you know, see enough of the subtext to be disgusted isn’t the right word, but feel that it is incredibly truthful. So I think, you know, that moment of her going to play in South Africa during apartheid and she says, I’m not political. I think I think there is subtext there around how she has been white-ified. Essentially, she has been taken by this white family. She has been raised to, risen to the top echelons of an incredibly rich, wealthy white sport. And naturally, she’s not political because she hasn’t lived her life, her formative years around, you know, her black friends who are obviously becoming very political during this period of time – referendum. Yeah, Yeah. Once they gave them the vote post referendum. I mean, this is also obviously globally they had it was it was a huge time of civil rights. So I think that there’s perhaps enough subtext there and we’re sort of straddling maybe the white lensed version of it. But still, I agree with you. It’s interesting because, yes, we learn all these things and we learn them all enough to feel uncomfortable about how they’re presented. But maybe that is the balance point. Maybe we are meant to feel uncomfortable with how this is presented because her life has been so whitewashed. You know?

Phil: Absolutely.

Carla: And this is the way that it is seen.

Phil: Yes. And look, it’s just wonderful to see that level of complexity and fraught-ness conveyed in such an upbeat way and to say the diversity of the Geelong audience and audiences around Australia accessing these kinds of questions and narratives. It’s also great, just as a sidebar, to see how many women are involved in the making of this show. The creative credits are Andrea Catena, Vicki Romany, Karen Gayle, etc. and the story obviously is about a woman sporting champion and a real icon of Australian sport. So there’s so much about this show to celebrate and just take sheer delight in. And I really did. You know, I was having a good night at the theatre and enjoying myself immensely. There is something about sport as a narrative device that has pleasure around it. You know, I’ve seen some great Bollywood cinema that’s essentially a cricket match. You know, we all loved the Jamaican bobsled movie in the nineties and Mighty Ducks, etc. because they went in the end, right? There’s I actually prefer sport films to sport because you at least get a narrative that’s curated around the actual event and you never lose in the end and it doesn’t take as long.

Carla: Look, I think these, you know, biopic kind of productions, it’s never going to be easy. It’s never, you know, you look, what are you cherry pick, what do you leave out? Do you make it a do you make it a harrowing drama? Do you make it a puff piece? You know, like straddling that kind of balance of it must be incredibly difficult. And that makes me very in awe of the craft of this work. And obviously, I think it is political enough because we have had so much to talk about. And I think the reason why you and I feel potentially upset about it is because people who need to hear the message are probably just going to walk away thinking, “oh, that was that was nice”. You know, like they’re not going to even engage with a lot of the elements that were problematic. And I think that’s the thing that upsets me. But they learned about an indigenous woman who was at the top of her game. You know, like, I don’t know.

Phil: It’s absolutely and there were beautiful elements around the welcome to country and acknowledgement of country like it was done. It was done beautifully and done powerfully. So I’m confident that irrespective of what people were seeking from the show, there was something really for everyone in this.

Carla: Yeah. And perhaps, you know. Populist, perhaps populist. This is the best of populist entertainment. You know, everybody got something out of it. And maybe I think that’s a big thing for me to meditate on, actually.

Phil: Yeah. And it’s and it’s ultimately really exciting.

Carla: Yeah. Just want to shout out to Ella Ferris in the role of Yvonne in particular. I just thought she was amazing.

Phil: So wonderful. Wonderful act.

Carla: Yeah. Overall. And then we went out in Geelong, so that was exciting too. Thanks for coming, Phil.

Phil: Pleasure.

Carla: Okay. Coming soon. Christmas is coming soon or end of the year. So I’ve actually cleared my whole calendar, but I’ve got a couple of things I’m interested in. But why don’t we throw to you first, Phil?

Phil: Sure. Well, this is a recommendation from friend of the podcast, Jasmin. I just bumped into in Geelong, which was thrilling and wild. It’s all happening in Geelong, clearly anyway. She endorses Richard Mosse’s Broken Spectre, which is at NGV. This is a 74 minute video work about environmental vandalism in the Amazon. It’s on for free and is apparently essential viewing, so I’ll be reporting back in the next month or so. That’s my homework to go and see what’s going on there. I’m also really excited by a festival called Neighbourhood, Neighbourhood Contemporary Art Festival. It’s on during November, so you may or may not have time to catch some of it, but it’s overseen in the western suburbs by the Footscray Community Arts Centre, the substation and other institutions in Melbourne’s west. One particular show that I’m really interested in is Lele, which is a sort of Samoan retelling of a Greek tragedy and has a lot of sort of creative artists associated with it that I’m really interested in. But if you look up the Neighbourhood Contemporary Art Festival, I’m sure there’s something worth exploring there, like it’s explicitly positioned as voices from the margins, emergent voices, culturally diverse voices. So that’s really intriguing to me.

Carla: Wow that sounds amazing. And I’m totally down for going and seeing that video artwork with you Phil. Yeah, so let’s do it together and maybe we’ll talk about it in intermission next episode.

Phil: Cool.

Carla: I’ve got a couple of local things. There’s a look, I’m a huge abstract impressionist fan and there’s a new exhibition coming up at Boom Gallery in Geelong. So Boom is like this amazing gallery that’s in this old mill. Take a drive. It’s so cool. There’s a really good bagel place inside, and the artist name is Beth Gibbeson, and the show is called A Thread of Light. Just really beautiful. I’ll put some photos on the website or I’ll link to the link. It really interesting abstract works. I’m really keen to go and check it out. And then the other thing is remember how we went to Hotel Obscura? Phil Yes, and we went to the one in the hospital.

Phil: Yes, where we died.

Carla: So that’s where we died! Yes. So that’s Triage Art Collective and Katarina Kokkinos-Kennedy and Sarah Walker are doing an immersive work out here in Geelong at the end of November called Bodies of Water. So it’s it looks like it’s an audio work, but you’re down at the water, you’re down at Geelong Beach, and afterwards you can also take a night swim with everybody else who comes to the show.

Phil: Wow.

Carla: So I am very curious about that, but I don’t know how curious I am about swimming in the water in November. But I’ll put a link. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well. It’s seems really magical.

Phil: Yeah, lovely.

Carla: So they’re the two they’re the two things that are happening out here that I’m looking forward to.

Phil: Fantastic.

Carla: Got such amazing things that we can work on. Phil. All right. I think that’s it for this month, for October 2022. You’re not going mad. We didn’t release an episode for September, so thank you for catching up with us. If you would like to get in touch with us, our handles for Twitter and Instagram are across Isle and our email is us out across ICOM. You can also check out our website where we have extended show notes and transcripts at Across the Aisles recorded in Naarm on the stolen lands of the Bunurong and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin nation. Sovereignty has never been ceded. We pay our respects to their elders and are so grateful for their custodianship of the land, waterways and skies we enjoy every day. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land. And thank you, Dearest Phil. It’s been exciting. And until next time by everyone.