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Happy days are here again, or are they? This month we head to Little Creature’s in Geelong for an education in contemporary dance (and pizza) with Joel Bray’s ⁠I Liked it But…⁠ and do a rare mission to the MTC to see Becketts absurdist tragicomic provocation ⁠Happy Days⁠. In Intermission we discuss our favourite Little Creatures moments, ⁠Loaded at Malthouse Theatre⁠ and ⁠Sydney Dance Company at Geelong Arts Centre⁠. Recommendations for Coming Soon are ⁠Clarice Beckett at Geelong Gallery⁠, ⁠Shadow Spirit at Rising⁠, La Mama’s new festival ⁠Explorations⁠ (featuring ⁠Pony Cam’s Boobs in Space⁠) and ⁠Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition⁠. Please tell a friend about our show today! <3 Carla, Philip and Ron. 

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Philip: Hello listener and welcome to episode 58 of Across the Aisle. Your dispatch on all things theatre, culture and the arts in Victoria, Australia and the world. It’s so good to have your company as we sit down for a minute to talk culture. As always, the episode will make space for two deep dives on shared experiences, along with Intermission banter and some forward sizzle in Coming Soon. Today we start at a brewery and end in the desert. First up, it’s podcast favourite, Joel Bray offering a bit of trivia and a whole lot of dance in. I liked it, but then after cooling down over a beer at Little Creatures, we’ll head to the Melbourne Theatre Company, darling, for another local favourite Judith Lucy starring in a production of Samuel Beckett’s classic strange play, Happy Days. It’s such a privilege to be seeing stuff again, like it’s 2018 and I’m excited, as always, to be debriefing with you, dear listener, wherever you are. Happy days indeed. I am Phillip Thiel and I am delighted to be joined in the virtual studio by my regional friend and correspondent Carla Donnelly. Carla, Hello.

Carla: Oh, I love regional arts correspondent for me. We’re about to get some new cards made, so maybe that will be my title from now on.

Philip: And we can have, like a coastal aesthetic.

Carla: Indeed.

Philip: Amazing. Well, let’s dive in. It’s time for a drink and a trivia session. Carla, will you tell us what’s going on at. I liked it, but Sure thing.

Carla: I’ll read the blurb and then I’ll give my own little intro because it’d be interesting to contrast the two. So it says “From the mind of proud Wiradjuri dancer and performance maker Joel Bray “I Liked it but…” ventures where very few experimental and immersive performance works dare to tread. Migrating contemporary movement out of the theatre and into the local pub scene. Joel Bray embraces this unorthodox space to define what truly passes the pub test. Served with tongue firmly in cheek, the show provides an opportunity for audience members from all walks of life to understand the very artistic and very serious inner workings of the contemporary dance world”. So this was another fun adventure in Geelong, like we’ve been on for the past sort of six months. In a hall at the massive Little Creatures Brewery. We went to a daytime session, so a matinee, which I don’t think is sort of like the right vibe for what this show is, but it gave it a really interesting bent to me. It’s kind of, I think even almost part lecture, sort of practical and lecture all in one. We have Joel who comes out and gives us a bit of an intro about his practice and then gives us an overview of the history of contemporary dance. And then we’re off with having to answer a whole bunch of trivia questions on what it is we should have been paying very closely attention to.

Carla: And then it moves on to examples working through how he creates work, lots of interaction with the audience, as is a lot of Joel’s shows, asking them how they feel, what how certain things make them feel, or what do they see. We even have a group dance choreography moment of which Philip was involved and it was thrilling. This was all very light hearted and sweet and educational, and it was a real amuse bouche for the soul for me. Like, I don’t know a lot about contemporary dance, but I feel like I know a lot more than most other punters. And I still learned lots and was given different opportunities to reflect in ways that I just don’t really think I have before. It was very fluffy and sweet and kind and happy and there was lots of elderly people there because it was, you know, a matinee and that was lovely to seeing how people with differing levels of ability and the right amount of encouragement could choose to engage in in these practices, like actually dancing themselves and creating movement maybe from their chairs. So overall, like a big heart balloon moment for me Phil, including the delicious pizza that I ate. How did you find it and how did you find your time in the spotlight?

Philip: Yes well, look, I half knew when we had a table of three people that there was a high percentage chance that I would be asked to participate somehow. And look, it was gorgeous. The vibe that you’re taking me back to is indeed one that’s so docile and positive and cloud like, and that’s Bray’s adorableness writ large and really enhanced for this really welcoming activity. I guess it’s almost an overcompensation for some of the terrible, hateful audience participation that can classically go on in comedy, for example. It’s almost a full reversal of that.

Carla: Yeah, gentle rather than confronting, gentle.

Philip: And affirming and celebratory and playful. And you’re reminding me as well, speaking of the different types of people in the audience that I really got the impression I may be wrong, but I think that lots of people were there for the trivia.

Carla: Yes. No. Actually, I think so too.

Philip: Yeah. And had their pencils at the ready sharpeners out. Yes. Let’s score as high as possible. And then maybe there was just a twinge of disappointment about how hectic the scoring very quickly became.

Carla: Yeah. And also this like the ushers were like very concerned for us that we didn’t have enough people in our table. And I’m like, I don’t think the trivia is important. Like, that’s not the points aren’t important.

Philip: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I love how you’ve thought about this. Perhaps more like a teaching experience with tests than something that’s testing knowledge we may already have brought to the situation. And the storytelling then becomes more central to what Joel is doing. And he’s such a great storyteller in little fragments of personal recollection, talking about what dancers meant to him, engaging with his own cultural background, and then to add to the loveliness, passing on to a performer to just kind of entertain people. So Hassall, who’s a local Geelong musician, was the player who participated alongside all of the dance and accompanied lots of the sections. And as the show moves from town to town, the musician and therefore the mood completely changes. One of my favourite sections of the show was a dialogue about making and creating that Joel engaged the other performer in as a kind of interview style set piece. I also loved the behind the scenes storytelling about how he makes shows with this particular case study from Daddy, which we have covered on the show, and he took it from the very first impulse and asked us to think about experimentation and redrafting and what it means to use your body to tell a stories, all kind of climaxing, I guess, with his question to the audience about how a particular performance made us feel. And we were all providing a kind of subjective piece of feedback. And the punchline was, you’re all right. Like contemporary dance offers an experience where the individual can have an experience of access and enjoyment, whatever the meaning they take from a show might be.

Carla: Yeah, and I think this is like, you know, important decolonizing work to like, you know, we all have inherent knowledge about emotions and how things make us feel. And, you know, through social conditioning, we are slowly calloused to that or removed from it or shamed about it. And this show. I mean, Joel particularly really just encouraged us to, you know, just verbalize on the spot what we see, what we think, what we feel, and have that validation of, you know, whatever you see is whatever you see, it’s like it’s a Rorschach, you know, however it makes you feel. And I thought that was really amazing because to me, like and this is the reason why we make the show, like we make the show for people who don’t go to shows very often and we spend time to, you know, explain and not use overtly technical terms and all that kind of stuff. I’m not in any way formally educated in any of these disciplines in an academic way. But I mean, apart from sort of shoring up his own future as a contemporary artist or a performer, this felt like a real gift. It felt like a real gift to the world and I think the funny thing about it being during the day was that the hall was like bright sunlight, you know, like, I think at night, you know, he’d have a spotlight and you’d be like “What do you think?” And he’d sort of have to point to other people or just get words from the audience. But in the brightness of day, like you could see everybody. We could all see each other and everybody felt empowered and had an opportunity to sort of project. So I think this, you know, breaking down of these class barriers and knowledge work barriers into knowing, too, that, you know, you can enjoy these things and how you feel is valid is such important work.

Philip: And it could actually be a kind of instructional proposal about how other types of teaching might take place, how other forms that might be seen as elite and inaccessible might offer more of an embrace of the public. Go to the pub where people already want to do trivia, but make it into something formative, participatory and educational. So yes, I can now say that I have performed in a Joel Bray piece. Sweat bands included.

Carla: Wonderfully, so wonderfully. So that was also the gift that was given to me to be able to see that.

Philip: Amazing, great times. Thanks. Thanks again for taking me into the mysterious, like current moment of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre in all of its variously located splendour.

Carla: I know I hope this doesn’t change because I don’t know if everyone knows, but there’s a brand new building for the Geelong Arts Centre. It’s like a it’s huge. It’s just about to be finished in August and I hope we still have a little funny venue things in the future. So let’s see what happens.

Philip: Well, because it’s about place, yeah, if you’re going to name something Geelong, then make sure it stays somehow connected to place. As some of the last couple of shows we’ve seen, there have been so powerfully. Yeah.

Carla: Thanks.

Philip: Phil Oh, hurrah. Okay, jumping back on the v-line, it is intermission.

Carla: It is indeed.

Philip: And since we’re on the brewery theme Carla, What’s your Little Creatures Beverage of choice?

Carla: Oh, look, I think we all know people of an age of our age. Remember that? You know, Coopers, Beer, Coopers beer was the only drinkable beer for the longest time and then came along Little Creatures, you know. So, of course. I have very fond memories of Little Creatures. I just love their pale ale. It’s actually. Yeah. It’s so drinkable. What about you?

Philip: Well, your mention of Coopers is making me realize how closely beer and theatre are intertwined now. Like the Malthouse is a full-blown Coopers immersive experience every time you go.

Carla: Yeah, of course. And you know, you. You’re from Adelaide. You’re from the. Well, you know, the home of Coopers.

Philip: Absolutely. You know that people are from South Australia by having an approach to the original Green Coopers pale that involves them rolling stubbies on the bar.

Carla: Oh I still, I still do it. I still do it. It’s all part of it. Got to get that sediment going.

Philip: Yeah, I like the Purple Coopers.

Carla: I actually still love their stout.

Philip: Oh, yes. Yeah. Classic for a reason. Amazing. Um, hey, while I’m talking about the Malthouse, I was there recently to see Loaded.

Carla: Oh, yes.

Philip: The adaptation of Tsiolka’s classic queer novel is now a classic queer play. Directed by Stephen Nicolazzo. I was so pleased to see it fully staged because I’d seen a kind of lockdown effort that was a little sort of spare in those early days of the pandemic. But obviously the Malthouse stuck with it. Stephen stuck with it and it works so well as a monologue. I do like the film Head On with Alex Dimitriadis playing the role of Ari, but to have it just spoken by this character made it so subjective and so sexy and so embodied in in the one character. So that that was a great, concise little night at the theatre.

Carla: Um, I’m really envious. I’ve just, just was not able to make it work with my schedule, unfortunately.

Philip: Um, what have you seen? What have you been up to?

Carla: We went to the Sydney Dance Company, actually. Um, and I think this is where I’m going. Like, I’ve talked about this before on the show. Like, I’m pretty burnt out by theatre. Like, I think theatre has had its moment with me and I think that’s a bit of forward sizzle for the next section. But um, and also because my partner really likes contemporary dance, like he hated theatre, but get him along to anything with movement and he loves it. So we go to the ballet, we go to contemporary dance. So we went to Sydney Dance Company at um, Geelong Art Centre. They use Costa Hall, which is part of Deakin University. So that, that was interesting. It was my first big show to go there and Costa Hall kind of it’s an auditorium for a university. It doesn’t have bank seating, so the seating sucks, like everything is at the same level. No one can see, you know? So if I was to go to something there again, I would know. Like I would sit in the dress circle kind of thing or upstairs. But the thing that was super interesting to me was that there was so many children there, like young children, like between like the ages of like five and nine. And of course, you know, you kind of get that, especially with the ballet. You’ve got young girls who do dancing and stuff like that. But I don’t know whether it’s just like a one off or country crowds or whatever, but I found that really fascinating. And I love it when children are at the theatre.

Philip: Of course. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah. So and it was, it was amazing. Like, it was very like exactly what you think, like nude bodystockings and lots of shapes and all this kind of stuff, you know? But it kind of built to this crescendo where it’s like it is like sport where you’re just like, Yeah, you can hear them breathing so hard and dripping so much sweat, you know? It’s incredible. So that was that was the most recent thing that we saw.

Philip: Yeah, I’m not actually that experienced at going to the ballet. And so I’m still surprised when I do by the fact that you can hear their bodies heavily landing. Yeah. And that there’s no way really of hiding that physicality of dance from the audience. I mean, you sometimes hear conductors exhale or whatever if they’re a particular type of musician when you’re at a concert. But there’s nothing like the noise of dancing. I’m recalling actually that I recently heard a podcast episode that I’d like to endorse that was all about ballet flats and dance shoes. But I’ll find the name of the podcast for everyone. Articles of Interest a podcast about what we wear. For some reason I’ve hooked into because I used to listen to 99% Invisible. Okay. And Avery Trufelman was on. That, and she’s got this clothing related podcast. And I learned so much about ballet and dance and suffering from that episode.

Carla: Yeah, yeah. It’s there’s some yeah, it’s kind of dicey, but it seems to be a little bit different in Australia, like I’m sure. Of course, it’s like rife with body dysmorphia and all that kind of stuff. But I think we’ve talked about this in the past when we’ve gone to the ballet and we’ll go to the ballet next month. But you know, the dancers do look, they don’t look bad, you know, like they’re not emaciated. You know, they sort of look athletic. They don’t look…

Philip: Plus, that’s another difference with yeah, contemporary dance seems to have enabled people to be relatively sporty rather than skeletal looking. So the Sydney Dance Company is to me, not that I’ve seen them recently in that sort of exciting, energetic, edgy, but not self-destructive category. Yeah, like Bray is.

Carla: Haha. No we did. I did really notice the difference of the bodies. Not a lot of difference, but I think a lot more variety, which I found really interesting, especially with heights and the men and yeah, I mean it’s just there’s something so primal about watching those kinds of work, you know, like it’s sort of really tickles your lizard brain. But then the scoring and the way that they pull together, like contemporary scoring and classical music and stuff that’s been made particularly for the work. I wish I could get the playlists because it’s just fantastic. So it’s sort of, yeah, yeah, it’s all senses all at once.

Philip: Dance, dance, dance.

Carla: Dance, dance, dance.

Philip: We are a dance podcast now.

Carla: That wouldn’t be so bad. Oh, wait.

Philip: On that note.

Carla: Oh, let’s go see Samuel Beckett.

Philip: Stop moving.

Carla: Yes. No movement. Zero movement.

Philip: Okay, we are off to Melbourne Theatre Company’s Happy Days, which describes itself thus “Buried up to her waist but never questioning why Winnie is determined to carry on as best she can. Awoken by a piercing bell, she is accompanied only by the contents of her purse and her husband, Willy. Willie doesn’t share Winnie’s predicament, but he is just as stuck. Despite the unrelenting sun and the limitations of her current and eventually sinking situation, Winnie remains adamant that this is a happy day. These are all happy days”. So we are in the dystopian 1961 world of Samuel Beckett.

Carla: Wow.

Philip: The director is Petra Kalive. The set designer is Euegene Teh, which is fantastic as always to see.

Carla: Yeah.

Philip: And Judith Lucy accompanied only really slightly by Hayden Spencer as Willy comprise everything that we see. So I saw this as part of my new life as an MTC subscriber, and I was thrilled to be able to bring you in just for a moment to what is the new norm for me these days as a 40 something citizen of the city and, you know, educator, There’s so much gossip by teachers everywhere up and down the rows at the Melbourne Theatre Company.

Carla: Oh, of course.

Philip: Hilarious. Hilarious. Um, so for me, this was exciting. I had read so much about Judith Lucy’s pivot from comedy to theatre. There were questions asked about whether she was exactly right or exactly wrong for the role. I like modernism and classic 20th century works of theatre, but don’t really see many of them, and so I was keen to support the MTC really in this sort of repertory theatre moment and didn’t know this particular work well, so was able to be experiencing suspense and surprise as the plot developed. All of that said, you can’t really miss the premise. It’s such a simple idea to just have a woman not move remain stuck and relentlessly optimistic. And so it becomes a play about that kind of survival that comes through storytelling and chatter and gossip. And I wonder, really, I still haven’t determined what Beckett’s stance on all of that idle chatter and gossip is. But I will say that my experience of it, especially with somebody like Judith Lucy cast in the role, is extremely humanizing of the figure of Winnie. She is doing the best she can under the absurdist existential situation in which she finds herself talking this language that probably was old fashioned even in the early 60s. She sort of brings a mid-century attitude of upbeat can do femininity to a potentially increasingly nihilistic view of the world that was emerging, partly thanks to.

Carla: Post-war…

Philip: And others. Yeah, in this in this sort of increasingly Cold War fraught period of the 20th century. I thought that Lucy’s performance was both as herself and very much in line with what the script required. And I thought it was a great piece of casting. I wondered about the production and have often wondered about the MTC and money. Perhaps it’s because we have seen so much independent theatre together. I’m not at all used to a sense of waste, but there was strangely a sense that this was quite a heightened and overproduced version of what could be quite experimentally done successfully. Why do you need like a richly reverberant version of an alarm clock if the whole idea is she just keeps getting woken up? Why do we need to have quite a beautiful video work behind the set that shows this slow progress of a cloud across the sky? I don’t think those elements necessarily be added or heightened, and we’re sometimes somewhat distracting from the starkness of the piece. And there were some issues with sound on the night that I attended, at least from where I was sitting, like things were a bit too reverberant and it seemed that maybe the door was shaking or there was something dodgy about the mics or something which added, which added a sort of more genuine frustration to what I think is meant to be a more purely frustrating audience experience. But I have said enough. Carla spill the beans.

Carla: Oh, Phil. I don’t even know. I don’t even know where to start with this. I firmly sit in two places and kind of in a matrix structure of the past and the present. So when I go to like old works that are staged now, I always start with the question of why this? Why now? And I don’t really know if I have the answer to that, but I don’t really know if this play really has an answer to anything. Like I kept pogoing between like, is this super misogynistic to like, is this super feminist, you know? Thinking about the fact that this was made in 1961 where it is it is legitimately a post-modernist work, 20 years before postmodernism was fully fledged. In terms of the work itself, it is bizarre and amazing. Like I can’t believe that it was made at the time in terms of Judith Lucy casting Judith Lucy in this. If you look at it in a meta-analysis kind of way where you have a, you know, a comedian who has been a comedian, a female comedian in Melbourne for 30 years, has this very kind of Gen-X sarcastic vocal fry that really is like a shard of glass in my brain.

Carla: And I was like excited to potentially see a different side of her. So to have her doing that shtick for the first half was not what I wanted, but the second half was where, you know, she crumples and becomes like increasingly not so optimistic the little voice Judith Lucy is what I wanted. But then I’m like, Isn’t that interesting? I wanted a pound of flesh out of this, you know, like, isn’t. Isn’t that interesting the way that I’ve placed her within this? So, it’s all these kinds of, like, contradictory threads that happen all the time when I start trying to engage and think about this work. Ultimately I found it incredibly unsatisfying. But I think that’s how we’re supposed to feel, right? And it’s like her just prattling on like some Valium dosed housewife and her sort of like very sort of quiet voice existential questions is just like feels so misogynistic to me. But it is such an everyman experience. Yeah. And then to have this female character in this play in 1961 I think is actually incredibly feminist. And the fact that not much has changed.

Philip: Right, right, right. Oh, look, I. I feel all of these feelings and hear exactly what you’re saying. But on the question of representation and gender, yeah, it fundamentally centres a woman’s voice and experience and allows us and the character of Willy to listen to a kind of nonstop set of expression from that woman. But on the other hand, there’s a gun very close to her. And at times you get the impression that Willy might want to use it on his wife. Right. So the threat of violence towards women, the sort of sadistic quality of the writing and directing to enclose a woman up to her neck, which sort of implies the fantasy of covering her head so she shuts up is present as well. Um and I yeah I don’t think that’s resolvable.

Carla: Well and see I saw the gun as a method of suicide. Right, but then in terms of like you’re talking about the production, of course it probably could have been even more sort of nihilistically staged if there was no stage and she was just standing there the whole time. Yeah. Um, but the, the imagery that really struck me was that she looked like a little dolly. Okay. You know, like that. It was like, you know, like.

Philip: A big skirt.

Carla: The mound. Was her dress.

Philip: I saw that.

Carla: And I kind of got, like, Mother Gaia kind of stuff from that, too, of like, the madness of Mother Gaia and what we’re doing to her. And I love the surrealistic elements of Willy’s like sort of Dali tuxedo with the really long super tail and his incredibly masculine, hulking figure that is played to be incredibly grotesque. He’s like a slug that kind of, like, crawls up the side of the mountain. Yeah, I, I just. What, what do you – every time I go to the MTC, I just feel really alienated. I just. Nothing speaks to me. Nothing speaks to my experience. Nothing speaks to me to how I see the world. Now. I could draw parallels with this, with climate change and a lot of different things. It is very kind of ambiguous in a way that could be productive, but there’s just nothing for me there. Was there anything for you there?

Philip: Well. I actually think that I was quite, um, targeted by and entertained by this experience in a way that lots of the other people in the theatre on the night that I attended visibly hated it.

Carla: Right.

Philip: Like, there was a really underwhelming and semi-hostile response to the performance. And I think there was a lot of genuine bewilderment. I was sitting next to my friend on one side and a stranger on the other. I’ve never sat next to somebody who so visibly hated a piece than the stranger next to me.

Carla: That’s so interesting.

Philip: I couldn’t help but sort of find myself taking sides with the production and with. Lucy’s delivery to sort of counter-model to this person’s open writhing. I really wanted to sort of show her how one appreciates Beckett or whatever. But that’s a clue to what I think the MTC sadly is doing with this kind of programming. They just want to appeal to pompous, snobby twats like me so that we can have seen Beckett as an end in itself, which is actually not a good justification for where you started this whole conversation, which is what is this for? Why are we restaging this classic right now? I think they don’t have an answer. I certainly didn’t get an urgent answer out of the production. And there was a there was a weariness to the curtain calls and the way that Judith Lucy ultimately left the stage. It’s like, what the F actually happened? Why did we do this?

Carla: Yeah.

Philip: Yeah.

Carla: It feels like it was like, wouldn’t it be great? Judith Lucy wants to do some or, you know, we could get a female. I don’t know, Like, I really genuinely hope that this. Because I know that she wants to give up comedy. I’ve heard her on some podcasts recently being interviewed she’s done some TV work around life and death, and she’s become like a climate activist and she was an alcoholic and now she’s in recovery. Like, I think she’s a really fascinating woman and I think she’s very talented. And, you know, much like Winnie, you know, has been overlooked for too long, you know, because of sexism, particularly in comedy, particularly in Melbourne. And I think she has a whole new life ahead of her and so much to offer. And I hope this is the beginning of that, but potentially not the right stage or vehicle like do this production, but mainstage, maybe not. I’m not sure. But having said that, the people at my I went to the matinee, they loved it. Like they loved it. And it was mostly middle aged women, I think. So I think that probably sort of gets somewhere. But they were like chattering and like they were like, “Oh, wasn’t that ruthless?” And I loved it. And so. Yeah.

Philip: Oh, I’m pleased. Yeah. Yeah. Good. Well, I’m glad that it’s connecting with people.

Carla: But I will say this. Sorry, I will say this like as much as I didn’t connect with it, I respect it. And I hopefully this is sort of a movement of turning the Titanic sort of around or the big ship sort of making it a slow movement to somewhere else.

Philip: Yeah, and I would love to see Australian writers writing in a style that is this ambitious as well. Like even if it is a classic play, you know, to, to, to put it in front of people with that justification of, well, if this is radical for you, you’re a reactionary 1950s, you know conservative. So do better. Do better, surely.

Philip: Yes. The MTC audience is at least have to know how to like Beckett. Otherwise, where are we? That’s just too provincial for words.

Carla: Yeah.

Philip: And so hopefully it can maybe just retrain. This is very this is sort of like the most optimistic possibility. But is it the MTC saying we’re actually going to be rigorous now? We’re going to we’re going to put some hard stuff in front of you? I hope so, because I would love that.

Carla: Yeah, I haven’t seen a Joanna Murray-smith on the slate for a while or a Williamson or a Shakespeare, so maybe we are kind of, you know.

Philip: Moving on. Growing up. Yeah.

Carla: Thank you, Phil, for letting me go to this. It was awesome.

Philip: Fabulous.

Philip: Okay. We’re almost at the end of our episode and it is time for Coming Soon. Carla, what is coming soon for you?

Carla: Okay, I have another Beckett, and it actually caused a very hilarious comedy of errors with my friend because we there’s an exhibition by the Victorian painter Clarice Beckett at the Geelong Gallery and it’s called Atmosphere and it is absolutely stunning, like stunning. She was quite popular in her time in the 30s and 40s, but apparently, you know, and she was, she was extremely prolific. But a lot of these works have been lost to time or kind of scattered around. So they’ve managed to sort of start pulling them together. And this exhibition is exquisite. I want to go again. It is so beautiful. I haven’t cried in a painting exhibition in a long time, but it is so beautiful and so talent like so talented. I think you will absolutely love it Philip.

Philip: And you genuinely confused somebody by getting the wrong Beckett?

Carla: Yeah. So we were going to the exhibition and my friend was like, are you going to see the Beckett? And I’m like, Yeah, I’m going on Saturday for the matinee. And he’s like, Oh, well, okay, I’ll go on my own. And so on the Friday when we were meeting to have lunch, I was like, so do you want to go to the gallery? And he’s like, I just went. And I was like, oh, good. Yeah. So anyway, he came again. But yeah.

Philip: Beautiful.

Carla: What about you? What have you got on the slate?

Philip: Well, it’s my third and final pre rising festival. Rising Festival recommend.

Carla: Oh, okay, great.

Philip: I’ve got a mixed feeling about the Flinders Street Gallery space. It’s sort of quickly become a little bit heavy in its programming. You know how they put Piccinini’s sculptures in there and then they.

Carla: Oh, you mean the ballroom?

Philip: That thing. Anyway, Yeah. They’re putting together a collaborative First Nations exhibition there called Shadow Spirit, which is a new First Peoples exhibition in Flinders Street Station’s abandoned rooms, as the website says. So that looks intriguing. Also, this is separate to Rising, but La Mama Theatre is having a little festival called Explorations, which is new work and works in development, including one of my most beloved theatre making groups at the moment, Pony Cam are doing a show there called Boobs in Space. Oh, which is our performed love letter to boobs in all the spaces they occupy.

Carla: Amazing.

Philip: So yes, and my last recommend is just because I’ll be there at literally every concert. The Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition is going to be at the Hawthorn Town Hall this year. It’s only on every four years. It’s a great little treat for lovers of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Mendelssohn to see, you know, kids basically from around the world playing it brilliantly over and over again. So if that’s your scene, head to Hawthorn.

Carla: Text Phil, He’ll be there.

Philip: Yeah. You’ll see me. Front and centre.

Carla: I saw your wad of tickets. I can’t wait to see your Instagram stories from it. That was my favourite last time. It was incredible. I do have one more recommend, so I will be away. So I can’t go to this. But Kate Hood, who’s a fantastic disabled well, she runs a disabled theatre company called Raspberry Ripple. The show is called Risky Business, a little show and a big controversy. So it looks like it’s sort of a mixed performance with it’s sort of like a panel, but it’s also scripted or it’s part performance, part panel discussion. So addresses the questions surrounding disability society’s often afraid to ask. Kate is brilliant, and there’s some really great people on the panel. Let me just double check who they are. So Zoe Boeson is going to be the facilitator, Eliza Hull, Olivia Muscat, and Andy Jackson’s going to be in the performance. So yeah, highly recommend that. That’s on at Costa Hall on Studio four, Geelong Arts Centre 28th of June. So check that out. Excellent. Really want to give our disabled company friends a bit of a plug.

Philip: Wonderful. Lots happening. It’s great to see, as I said at the top of the episode that we are faking it till we make it on doing stuff again. Okay, that is all for our 58th episode. Thank you so kindly for listening. If you have made it this far, get in touch with us via email at us at or on Twitter at across aisle. That’s where you can keep up to date on our evolving plans and. Recommendations and express your own opinion about the material covered on today’s show. How did you find Judith Lucy, for example, and have you been in a Joel Bray production? Across the Aisle is recorded in Naarm and Geelong on the stolen lands of Wurundjeri and Wathaurong. People sovereignty has never been ceded. We pay our respects to their elders and express gratitude for their custodianship of the land we live on. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land. And thank you so much Carla.

Carla: Thank you. Happy winter.

Philip: See you soon.